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NOTHING IS BETTER THAN NOTHING AT ALL (NICHTS IST BESSER ALS GAR NICHTS)

NOTHING IS BETTER THAN NOTHING AT ALL
Scene from NOTHING IS BETTER THAN NOTHING AT ALL (photo © Marcus Winterbauer/Filmtank)

When Jan Peters' girlfriend accidently takes his wallet on a trip to foreign climes, she inadvertently leaves the filmmaker standing in the Frankfurt Airport without a penny or credit card to his name. The only capital he possesses is a group ticket for the public transport system.

After hearing about people who supplement their inadequate incomes by “escorting” groups of tourists across the city, Mr. Peters decides to apply the same method to his own adverse situation. The filmmaker starts a business as an “independent travel escort” and enters an obscure world of supplementary jobs and adventurous business models. During his trips he encounters troubled, laden, indifferent and optimistic souls, as well as those trying to cast off their abject yoke with courage, solidarity and creativity.

The audience is confronted with the demise of familiar employment structures and is introduced to concepts designed for a future without full employment.


Jan Peters was born in 1966 and studied at the Hamburg Art Institut (HfbK). In 1994, he co-founded the filmmakers group Abbildungszentrum. In addition to short and feature films, he also creates radio plays and participates in art exhibitions. His films include: Schwarzaergerer (short, 1995), November 9, Ende - 13 (short, 1998), November, 1-30 (short, 1998), December, 1-31 (short, 1999), I Am 33 (short, 2000), How I Became a Cave Painter (short, 2001), Wie ich ein Europaeer wurde (short, 2004), Bye Bye Tiger (2004), 13 or 14 (short, 2004), But I Still Haven't Figured Out the Meaning of Life (2005), How I Became a Freelance Tour Guide (short, 2007), Two or Three Takes of One Idea (short, 2008), Time's Up - An Experiment in Time-Management (short, 2009), and Nothing is Better than Nothing at All (Nichts ist besser als gar nichts, 2010).
Genre Society
Category Documentary
Year of Production 2010
Director Jan Peters
Screenplay Jan Peters
Cinematography Marcus Winterbauer
Nina von Guttenberg, Sandra Trostel
Pit Przygodda
Producer Thomas Tielsch
Production Company Filmtank/Hamburg, in co-production with ZDF, 3sat/Mainz
Length 89 min
Format 35 mm, color
Original Version
 German
Subtitled Version English
Sound Technology Dolby SR
Festivals Planete Doc Warsaw 2011
With backing from Filmförderung Hamburg Schleswig-Holstein, MFG Baden-Württemberg, BKM, MEDIA

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