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American Women's Club of Hamburg

Alles ist eins. Außer der 0


Germany, 2020
Opening July 29, 2021

Directed by: Klaus Maeck, Tanja Schwerdorf
Writing credits: Klaus Maeck, Tanja Schwerdorf
Principal actors: Documentary with Peter Glaser, Wau Holland, Andy Müller-Maguhn, Linus Neumann, Steffen Wernéry


alles ist eins. Ausser der 0The Chaos Computer Club was founded by Wau Holland and Steffen Wernéry in West Berlin, September 12, 1981. Hamburg quickly became the main headquarters. In 1986, it was registered as a non-profit NGO. Members, now almost 8000 worldwide, are computer “hackers” who oversee the computer world with the goal to assure computer safety and to secure the rights for worldwide communication. They have published several magazines and in 1984, the first annual convention took place. Members meet locally in small groups, besides attending conventions. The CCC, as it is called, “acts as an adviser for politicians, media, and businesses.”

All of these developments are discussed in this excellent documentary by Klaus Maeck and Tanja Schwerdorf. Peter Glaser comments throughout as we learn about its growth from the 1980s until today. Perhaps a film about computers might seem too technical for the average viewer, but, here, the important topics are the talented workers involved in the organization. The directors have compiled years of newsreels and interviews to introduce the people behind the scenes, especially Holland and Wernéry. Interestingly, it opens with scenes from our Hamburg Miniature Wonderland. There is mention of the German TAZ newspaper, Boris Becker, MacIntosh, President Bush, Gameboy, die Toten Hosen, Edward Snowden, Wikileaks, Mark Zuckerberg, Julian Assange, etc., but the heroes are the founders and organizers.

Alles ist eins. Außer der 0 translates literally to “Everything is one, except the Zero,” which refers to the binary number system. It is excellent viewing, no matter whether one comes from deep in the computer world or is an outsider peeking in. My son had just started to plan his computer studies when the first CCC convention occurred and I could well imagine him as one of the youngsters in this film, as he went on to set up computer companies. I look forward to viewing this film a second time to pick up details I might have missed and to re-experience the thrill of this documentary. ()

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