Im Innern des Wals

In the Belly of the Whale
A police officer in Hamburg beats both his daughter and then a motorist whom he felt was insolent. When daughter Carla runs away, Rick, the hapless driver, picks her up out of curiosity. A homeless guitarist, he drives her to Lübeck in his old Mercedes, where the 15-year-old girl hopes to find her mother. Unfortunately, it turns out that the mother, who left the family years ago, hasn’t lived there for some time now. Hoping to find her, Carla and Rick embark on an odyssey along the northern German coast … Doris Dörrie uses the conventions of the road movie to tell the story of a young woman from a broken home emerging into adulthood. Not only does the protagonist process her bad home situation while on the road, she also finds herself able to express for the first time her need for love and tenderness; the tomboy-esque teenager discovers her own femininity. Casually, almost by accident, the seemingly adrift runaway passes through one turning point after the next. At the same time, the film imperceptibly but inexorably pivots from a teen drama to a family tragedy.
by Doris Dörrie
with Janna Marangosoff, Eisi Gulp, Peter Sattmann, Silvia Reize, Fabietto Scanu, Harry Baer, Ulrike Kriener
Federal Republic of Germany 1985 German 103’ Colour Rating R16


  • Janna Marangosoff
  • Eisi Gulp
  • Peter Sattmann
  • Silvia Reize
  • Fabietto Scanu
  • Harry Baer
  • Ulrike Kriener


Director Doris Dörrie
Screenplay Doris Dörrie, Michael Juncker
Cinematography Axel Block
Editing Raimund Barthelmes
Music Claus Bantzer
Sound Sven Funke
Art Director Jörg Neumann, Gabriele Hochheim
Costumes Hella Wolter
Commissioning Editor Eberhard Scharfenberg

Additional information

Film print: Olga Film, München

Doris Dörrie

Born in Hanover, Germany in 1955, she studied acting and film in Stockton, California, followed by philosophy and psychology in New York. Between 1975 and 1978 she took a degree at the University of Television and Film Munich, where she later taught. After making films for television, she directed her first feature film in 1983 and made the phenomenally successful Männer (Men) in 1985. Alongside her work as a film director and producer, she has also directed operas in Berlin, Munich and Salzburg. Many of her films have screened at the Berlinale, most recently Glück (Bliss) in 2012.

Filmography (selection)

1984 Mitten ins Herz (Right To The Heart) 1985 Im Innern des Wals (Inside The Whale) 1986 Männer (Men) 1987 Paradies (Paradise) 1992 Happy Birthday, Türke! (Happy Birthday!) 1995 Keiner liebt mich (Nobody Loves Me) 1999 Bin ich schön? (Am I Beautiful?) 2000 Erleuchtung garantiert (Enlightenment Guaranteed) 2007 Wie man sein Leben kocht (How To Cook Your Life) 2008 Kirschblüten – Hanami (Cherry Blossoms – Hanami) 2010 Die Friseuse (The Hairdresser) 2012 Glück (Bliss) 2015 Dieses schöne Scheißleben 2016 Grüße aus Fukushima (Fukushima, mon Amour)

Bio- & filmography as of Berlinale 2019