Film screening

German Movie Nights: All Is One. Except 0.

Filmstill: All is one, except 0


Goethe-Institut New York

30 Irving Place
New York, NY 10003


Language: German with English subtitles
Price: Free admission
+1 212 4398700 Registration is required for this event

Related links

The German Film Office is pleased to present a special in-person screening of the documentary All Is One. Except 0. at the Goethe-Institut New York, followed by a conversation between director Klaus Maeck and Sukhdev Sandhu, Director of the Center for Experimental Humanities at New York University. Please register to attend.
Register Key to understanding our Information Age—how it came about, what it is, what comes next—is the story of the Chaos Computer Club, a group of science-fiction obsessed, utopian, anarchistic engineering savants who came together in West Germany in 1981, and pioneered the concept of “hacking for good”.

Through interviews and archival material, we get to know the CCC’s founder and patron saint, the “data artist” Wau Holland, whose philosophical clarity and grungy idealism suffuses the movement to the present day. Hacker culture grew out of Cold War skepticism about official information. In the 1980s, divided Germany was a buffer zone between two nuclear powers, and Wau’s TV got reception from both. There was no way both newscasts could be right about everything. Inspired by Stewart Brand’s Whole Earth Catalogue, the sheer joy of DIY engineering, and the odd dose of LSD, this bunch of “strange men with strange machines” set up shop after hours in the office of a radical newspaper. There, they opened battle against data centralization, monopolies, secrets, and lies in the belief that personal data should be protected, and public data should be shared, and not the other way around. Through their first major action, the BTX hack against the German Post Office’s supposedly secure BTX data system, the CCC became famous. The stakes went up quickly from there: the Chernobyl disaster makes the government’s information-hoarding a matter of life and death. And when a splinter group gets involved with the KGB, the powers that be do not take it lightly.
The CCC thrives today, still causing major headaches for the superpowers of the world. How this decentralized band of outsiders became an indispensable institution is the fleetly told, suspenseful story of All Is One. Except 0. as told by directors Klaus Maeck, the longtime manager of legendary Berlin underground band Einstürzende Neubauten, and Tanja Schwerdorf. Not everyone will approve of CCC’s idealistic agenda. Luddites, techno-utopians, tech workers, and data privacy advocates will all get something different from this film. They all should see it. 

“With apparent playfulness, Maeck and Schwerdorf have crafted a truly amazing found footage montage: informative, engaging, and full of anarchic humor, just as Wau Holland & Co. in their actions.” (Kino-Zeit)

Alles ist eins. Ausser der 0.
Dir. Klaus Maeck, Tanja Schwerdorf
Germany, 2021
90 min.

Klaus Maeck, born 1954 in Hamburg, began working with Super-8 films in the beginning of the 1980s. Among the best-known films that he produced and co-created in this period is the cult classic Decoder (1984). In 1988, he co-founded the independent music publisher Freibank, which initially attended to rights for Einstürzende Neubauten and other bands from their scene. In 2004, he co-founded the production company Corazón International with director Fatih Akin. Since 2013, he has run his own production company, Interzone Pictures. All Is One. Except 0. is his third work as director.

Sukhdev Sandhu is the Director of the Center for Experimental Humanities and Associate Professor of English and Social and Cultural Analysis at New York University. He makes radio documentaries for the BBC, runs the Colloquium for Unpopular Culture at New York University, and is an award-winning film critic. His writings have appeared in publications including the London Review of Books, Süddeutsche Zeitung, The Wire, Sight and Sound, Bidoun, New York, The Guardian, and Times Literary Supplement.