One World Film Festival

Ruth Kaaserer, Gwendolyn Leick – Gwendolyn #jedensvet2018

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11 min. and 31 sec.

A retired anthropologist in her mid-sixties… and a world champion in weightlifting.

Play Podcast
11 min. and 31 sec.

PODCAST| Matt Micucci interviews Ruth Kaaserer and Gwendolyn Leick, director and protagonist of the film Gwendolyn.

To listen to the interview, click on the ► icon on the right, just above the picture

Director Ruth Kaaserer presented her documentary, Gwendolyn, at the 2018 One World Human Rights Documentary Film Festival alongside its protagonist, Gwendolyn Leick, an anthropologist in her sixties who also happens to be an inspiring record breaking weightlifter. “Gwendolyn surprised me constantly,” tells us Kaaserer in this interview, recalling how the project began and how it developed, “she is a very inspiring person. When I met her I knew from the very first moment that we could go somewhere together.” We ask Leick how and why she started weightlifting, and how it has helped her cope with her illness and failing health: “It’s a very important factor in keeping going,” she explains. Leick also tells us whether she was surprised that Kaaserer wanted to make a film about her and whether the cameras ever got in the way of her intense training. She also introduces to us her two writing projects that she is currently working on.

Gwendolyn: This intimate documentary reveals the dramatic life misadventures of 65-year-old Gwendolyn Leick – a unique woman with great inner strength, an immigrant from Western Europe, anthropologist, and world weightlifting champion. What predetermines our life course, the battles we fight, and our moral fibre? Do specific circumstances play a role? These key questions are addressed in this film about the tireless winner Gwen and the momentous challenges she has faced. Formerly from Austria, but long living in London, she is a researcher and writer, as well as a perceptive mother, partner, and friend, who never planned to become a weightlifter. Nevertheless, even in this sport, as in the case of the many other roles she has held in her life, she has achieved success. Inconspicuous but charismatic Gwen is proof that a strong will is enough to overcome any barrier as long as one is willing to accept the rules of the game.


  • Reporter
    Matt Micucci
  • Guest
    Ruth Kaaserer / Gwendolyn Leick
  • Interviewee role
  • Film title
  • Festival section
    Long Live Life!
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