© Volk (NDR)
© Volk (NDR)
© Volk (NDR)

What does our body language tell?

The experiment with Linda Zervakis

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Premiere: 26.9.2016
Authors: Matthias Bremer, Babette Hnub, Tobias Lickes
Directors of camera: Malte Nieschalk, Gordon Volk

A film by Matthias Bremer, Babette Hnub and Tobias Lickes (2016)

Hardly any other topic accompanies us daily more often than proximity and distance - mostly unconsciously. On the way to work on the bus or train, in the canteen or restaurant, while shopping in the pedestrian zone or in the bar in the evening: Every time we get in contact with other people, our subconscious sends us signals: "Stop! Not an inch closer"! Or sometimes also: "Come on! Get closer!"

For "The Experiment", Tagesschau spokeswoman Linda Zervakis ventures into the realm of proximity: When is proximity accepted and beneficial - and when does closeness become too close?
It's just a shame that our subconscious doesn't always know immediately what the person opposite feels: How close does he want to get to me? How close do I want to get to him? When is close too close? And what happens when closeness becomes danger?

Linda Zervakis tries it out and consciously transcends the many unwritten laws of proximity and distance in various social experiments. How do people behave, for example, when she stands on the same step of the escalator with them? Takes up three seats in the subway? In the pedestrian zone even seeks physical contact?

How do other cultures deal with proximity and distance? Why do people in many other countries have a completely different understanding of what proximity means? Why are we Germans considered to be rather aloof all over the world - when proximity is demonstrably just as good for us as for the rest of the world?