• Ruth Beckermann
  • Austria
  • 2022
  • 100 min
  • Dutch Premiere
  • Masters, Focus: Playing Reality

A hundred men respond to an open call in a newspaper, turning up to audition for the latest film by Ruth Beckermann. Its title Mutzenbacher comes from Josephine Mutzenbacher or The Story of a Viennese Whore, as Told by Herself, a German erotic novel published in 1906. The book is famous and infamous throughout the German language region: it was banned in Germany until 1968, for example. Its detailing of the sexual adventures of a Viennese sex worker—an underage one at that—remains controversial. The story was almost certainly written by a man.

We view the auditions precisely as they took place: on a casting couch that looks like it belongs in a brothel. Beckermann asks each of the men to read out a passage from the book. This leads to candid conversations about sexual morality—with the roles reversed. Here, instead of Josephine being observed, it’s the men. The awkward moments of excitement, shame, and indignation are occasionally interrupted by a male choir that, on Beckermann’s orders, chant variations on the word “fuck.”


  • 100 min
  • color
  • DCP
  • Spoken languages: German
  • Subtitles in: English
Ruth Beckermann
Ruth Beckermann for Ruth Beckermann Filmproduktion
Johannes Hammel
Dieter Pichler
Andreas Hamza

IDFA history

Dutch Premiere
Focus: Playing Reality

Share this film

Print this page

IDFA history

This website uses cookies.

By using cookies we can measure how our site is used, how it can be further improved and to personalize the content of online advertisements.

 here everything about our cookie policy. If you choose to decline, we only place functional and analytical cookies