Robert van Ackeren

Das andere Lächeln

Director Robert van Ackeren Composer Peer Raben Cast Heinz Ehrenfreund, Maria Lucca, Anja Müßiggang, Katja Rupé
Edition 1981
122' - 1978 - Drama - Dialogue: German
Many films only tell an outward story, and because you need characters for that, you invent them, of necessity. You usually only pay attention to them because they are the focus of the action, and most of the time they are unimportant in themselves as people and without any power. DAS ANDERE LÄCHELN is first and foremost a film about people. It is their behaviour, their desires and their efforts that determine the action, and since it is about interesting people, I find their story interesting, the story of the film interesting. That is how the film was made: I filmed people and it is with them that I tell a story, not the other way around.

The most important thing for the characters - and thus for the story - is the power of their own dynamics. All characters are subject to an imposed evolution from which they cannot escape. This process interests me, this almost forced development, and above all the metamorphosis of the women. The way in which a woman empathises with the identity of her friend, "takes possession" of her, is an acrobatic exercise of such precision that no room is left for shadows. A journey to discovery, from the tips of the nails to sex, but linked to very clearly defined social conditions. This is one aspect, here is another: a woman lures her friend and prepares her to become her double. She lays a trap for the one who will succeed her and literally pushes her more and more into the interior of her own role. Despite all the fear such a relationship evokes, it is surprisingly harmonious. This exchange relationship fascinates me, the relationship between the women is for me the real love story of the film, not the relationship with the man.

In the relationship between the women and the man, I try to tell something about the interchangeability of such love relationships, which are actually nothing more than relationships of submission. Neither woman can be herself in front of the man, they both behave as if they were not free; they behave according to the views of the tendencies that prevail in society, they always accept imposed premises before they develop them themselves. The characters in the film are guided by bourgeois behaviours and values; all this ritual-i.e. everything that happens normally and daily-is for me very oppressive, very bewildering: a fear."



Robert van Ackeren


Peer Raben


Heinz Ehrenfreund, Maria Lucca, Anja Müßiggang, Katja Rupé


Robert van Ackeren, Joy Markert, Peter Stripp

Director of Photography

Jürgen Jürges


Hannes Nikel

More info



Countries of production

West Germany