Denkmal-Film Verhaag

Das innere Ausland

The Strangers Within Us

a film by Bertram Verhaag

45 min


Xenophobia has nothing to do with skin colour or ethnicity. It has everything to do with above and below, rich and poor, superior and inferior. We degrade other people in order to feel better about ourselves. So xenophobia isn’t a reaction to the people it’s aimed at. It actually stems from our fear of the strangers within us.

If you work too much, it’s easy to see foreigners as lazy. If feel like you can’t express yourself, other people seem loud. But these “strangers” can also represent our urge to escape our surroundings and our own limitations. Being confronted with your own unfulfilled longing is an extremely painful experience. And if that pain is “forbidden” within your community, your family – or even just your own mind – it quickly turns into anger.

It’s in this foreign land – the one inside our heads – that we bury our feelings of prejudice, competition, social envy and dissatisfaction, our unrealised dreams. And that’s true for everyone – not just those we consider extremists.

Buch & Regie Bertram Verhaag Kamera Waldemar Hauschild - Claus Strigel
Schnitt Hans Funck Ton Stephan Krause Assistenz Bitta Boerger
Produktionsleitung E. Katharina Ritter Redaktion Elke Hockerts-Werner, WDR
In Co-Produktion m. Arbeitsg. Kath. Flüchtlings- und Aussiedlerhilfe (KLD), Landesz. f. p. B., NRW
© 1994 DENKmal-Film Verhaag GmbH, im Auftrag des WDR