No Mercy, No Future

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No Mercy, No Future
Theatrical release poster
Directed byHelma Sanders-Brahms
Produced byHelma Sanders-Brahms
Written byHelma Sanders-Brahms
Music byManfred Opitz
Harald Grosskopf
CinematographyThomas Mauch
Edited byUrsula West
Hanni Lawerenz
Bettina Böhler
Helma Sanders-Brahms Filmproduktion GmbH
Distributed byBasis-Film-Verleih GmbH
Release date
1 November 1981 (Hof International Film Festival)
Running time
108 minutes
CountryWest Germany

No Mercy, No Future (German: Die Berührte) is a 1981 West German drama film directed by Helma Sanders-Brahms.


Veronika Christoph, the troubled daughter of uncaring bourgeois parents, has been institutionalized due to her schizophrenia. Without proper psychiatric treatment for her unearthly visions, she prowls the streets along the Berlin Wall at night in search of God, yet settles for the company of strange, exiled men.


  • Elisabeth Stepanek as Veronika Christoph
  • Jorge Reis as Demba
  • Curt Curtini as Magician
  • Hasan Hasan as Monsef
  • Carola Regnier as Physician
  • Hubertus von Weyrauch as Veronika's Father
  • Irmgard Mellinger as Veronika's Mother
  • Nguyen Chi Danh as Patient
  • Erich Koltschack as Old Man
  • George Stamkoski as Greek Man
  • Karl Heinz Reimann as God's Son
  • Abdel Wahed Askar as Ibrahim
  • Nabil Reiroumi as Salem
  • Harald Hoedt as Patient
  • Erika Dannhoff as Countess
  • Günther Ehlert as Death


The film was released on DVD by Facets Multi-Media in 2008.[1]


Thomas Elsaesser, author of European Cinema: Face to Face with Hollywood, wrote that No Mercy, No Future was a "relative" failure in the commercial and critical aspects compared to Germany, Pale Mother and that the situation "may have led Sanders-Brahms in the direction of the European art cinema."[2] London's Time Out has referred to the film's performances as faultless[3] and it was screened at the 1982 Berlin International Film Festival[4] and won the British Film Institute's Sutherland Trophy Award for 1981. Critic Michael Atkinson praised the film as a "classic, show-it-all acting coup that doesn’t wriggle free of your memory very easily."[5]


  1. ^ "No Mercy, No Future". Facets Multi-Media. Retrieved 31 December 2013.
  2. ^ Elsaesser, Thomas. European Cinema: Face to Face with Hollywood. Amsterdam University Press, 2005. ISBN 9053565949, 9789053565940. p. 223.
  3. ^ "No Mercy, No Future". Time Out London. Retrieved 31 December 2013.
  4. ^ Kennedy, Harlan (May–June 1982). "Berlin 1982 – The 32nd Berlinale Filmfestspiele Assignment in Berlin". Film Comment. Retrieved 31 December 2013.
  5. ^ Atkinson, Michael (4 November 2008). "Billy the Kid, No Mercy, No Future". IFC Center, AMC Networks. Retrieved 31 December 2013.

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