Nicht nichts ohne Dich

Ain’t Nothing Without You
Martha is a filmmaker. Alfred has been studying architecture forever. When they stumble across each other on the frozen Alster lake in the middle of Hamburg, it is evidence of the compelling force of opposites attracting. And so the love story begins between her, “rich but longing to be poor so that she can finally belong to those who are poor and hence be against the rich”, and him, a child of the ’68 generation. While she offers housing to the family of their Portuguese nanny in order to feel a sense of social reality, he keeps his head above water working as a tour guide at a film studio… “The most important thing in my films is the atmosphere, and capturing the atmosphere is the most difficult”, Martha tells an interviewer. Pia Frankenberg managed to achieve that astoundingly well in this screwball comedy set in Hamburg. Ain’t Nothing Without You uses a subtle irony to expose the emotional and ideological ensnarements of big city yuppies in topical debates about sisterhood, integration and commercial television. In keeping with the motto “have no fear of superficiality”, the film manages with artful casualness the salvation of the appearance of 1980s’ reality.
by Pia Frankenberg
with Klaus Bueb, Pia Frankenberg, Adeline Almeida-Sedas, Thomas Struck, Alfred Edel, Dieter Kosslick, Hark Bohm, Ilona Ribowski-Bruwer
Federal Republic of Germany 1985 German 91’ Black/White DCP: Deutsche Kinemathek Rating R 12


  • Klaus Bueb
  • Pia Frankenberg
  • Adeline Almeida-Sedas
  • Thomas Struck
  • Alfred Edel
  • Dieter Kosslick
  • Hark Bohm
  • Ilona Ribowski-Bruwer


Director Pia Frankenberg
Screenplay Pia Frankenberg co-writer: Klaus Bueb
Cinematography Thomas Mauch
Editing Ursula West
Music Horst Mühlbradt
Sound Sven Funke
Art Director Brigitte Abel
Vocals Pia Frankenberg
Producer Pia Frankenberg

Additional information

DCP: Deutsche Kinemathek