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Es gibt keine Angst

Afraid Doesn’t Exist
Film still from Anna Zett’s film “Es gibt keine Angst (Afraid Doesn’t Exist)”. On the right a person in a black robe putting their left hand on a shelf on the left. In the bottom left corner another shelf with the number 87 on its door.
© Anna Zett
  • Director

    Anna Zett

  • Germany / 2023
    31 min. / Original version with English subtitles

  • Original language


An expiring police state is the setting for the pulsating short film thriller ES GIBT KEINE ANGST (Afraid Doesn’t Exist). Based on her own childhood experiences from before 1990, the artist Anna Zett has assembled video and audio material from the Berlin Archive of the GDR Opposition into an intense and poetic archive drama. Between picture and sound the films opens up an associative space to connect anew with experiences of violence that are difficult to make sense of today, while at the same time documenting an act of political resistance that seems extraordinarily effective considering German history. Vocally highly condensed voices from a 1986 East Berlin poetry tape support the voiceless narrator – “an adult child” – in the reconstruction of her own emotional world, as does the multi-layered musical score. From footage of the environmental library to private videos and TV footage, the film leads in ceaseless escalation to the second occupation of the Berlin Stasi headquarters with hunger strike in September 1990, where it settles into a very different mood.

Production Anna Zett. Production company Anna Zett (Berlin, Germany). Director Anna Zett. Editing Anna Zett. Music Matti Gajek. Sound design Jochen Jezussek.

Anna Zett is a Berlin-based artist and writer. Centering dialog and play, her time-based, emotional, analytical and often participatory work questions systems of control, and makes space for new relations to emerge at sites of loss and damage. Since 2018, her quest for feminist practices of world-making set a focus on how to personally make sense of embodied legacies of the GDR, which also led to the development of the format “Postsocialist Group Improvisation.” Anna Zett’s video works have been shown in the international art and film context since her first release in 2014.

Films: 2014: Dinosaur.Gif (20 min.), This Unwieldy Object (47 min.). 2015: Circuit Training (12 min.). 2019: Endarchiv (18 min.). 2023: Es gibt keine Angst / Afraid Doesn’t Exist.

Bonus Material

  • Film still from Anna Zett’s film “Es gibt keine Angst (Afraid Doesn’t Exist)”. People holding a banner with the inscription "We demand the right to speak. 9th day of hunger strike" in front of the entrance of a building. (Banner in german, author

    Director’s Note

    Anna Zett talks about the four-year research and working process of the film

Program Schedule

Funded by:

  • Logo Minister of State for Culture and the Media
  • Logo des Programms NeuStart Kultur