An audition for men aged between 16 and 99. There are no props nor make-up, just pure improvisation. All that is required is the willingness to engage openly with the topic and language of the words on the page. No small challenge, since the text in question is the scandalous novel published anonymously in 1906 “Josefine Mutzenbacher, or the Life Story of a Viennese Whore, as Told by Herself” which, as this film confirms, continues to be the subject of passionate and controversial discussions about desire, even today. What might be world-class pornographic literature for some is seen by others as an abusive depiction of child sexuality. In an intelligently arranged, experimental setting that permits analysis, emotion, reflection and intimacy in equal measure, these men transcend the boundaries of literary debate, opening up insights for us and for themselves into the cosmos of eroticism and sexuality – both within and beyond the confines of male fantasy. A cinematic experiment poised between imagination and identity that neither negates nor invokes its central taboo. For this reason it tells us a lot, not least about “#Me” as well as #MeToo.
by Ruth Beckermann Austria 2022 German 100’ Colour World premiere | Documentary form


Director Ruth Beckermann
Screenplay Ruth Beckermann, Claus Philipp
Cinematography Johannes Hammel
Editing Dieter Pichler
Music VALIE EXPORT, Ingrid/monsti Wiener
Sound Design Andreas Hamza
Sound Andreas Hamza
Assistant Director Rebecca Hirneise
Production Managers Rebecca Hirneise, Philipp Diettrich
Producer Ruth Beckermann
Executive Producer Ruth Beckermann

Produced by

Ruth Beckermann Filmproduktion

Ruth Beckermann

The filmmaker and writer was born in Vienna, Austria. Her films include The Paper Bridge and East of War. Her film Those Who Go Those Who Stay won Best Documentary at the 2014 Diagonale in Graz. Two years later, The Dreamed Ones won Beat Feature Film at the same festival. The Waldheim Waltz received several prizes including the Glashütte Original – Documentary Award at the 2018 Berlinale and was also nominated as Austria’s entry for the Oscars. In 2022, MUTZENBACHER screened in the Encounters section of the Berlinale where it won the award for Best Film.


1977 Arena besetzt (Arena Squatted) 1978 Auf amol a Streik (Suddenly, a Strike); short film 1981 Der Hammer steht auf der Wiese da draußen (The Steel Hammer Out There on the Grass); short film 1984 Wien retour (Return to Vienna) 1986 Der Igel; short film 1987 Die papierene Brücke (The Paper Bridge) 1991 Nach Jerusalem (Towards Jerusalem) 1996 Jenseits des Krieges (East of War) 1999 Ein flüchtiger Zug nach dem Orient (A Fleeting Passage to the Orient) 2001 Homemad(e) 2006 Zorros Bar Mizwa (Zorro’s Bar Mizwa) · Mozart Enigma; short film 2011 American Passages 2012 Jackson/Marker 4am; short film 2013 Those Who Go Those Who Stay 2015 The Missing Image; video installation 2016 Die Geträumten (The Dreamed Ones) 2018 Waldheims Walzer (The Waldheim Waltz) 2019 Joyful Joyce; video installation 2022 MUTZENBACHER 2024 Favoriten

Bio- & filmography as of Berlinale 2024