Dark Excursions

Sleep walkers and their twilight zone

Authors: Matti Bauer. Human interest - ZDF - 2003 - 30 min

Peter Sodann is a sleepwalker, who German television viewers are likely to know better as a TV Leipzig police commissar. One night, the actor woke up to find himself naked in the garage of a hotel. Since then, he has always worn a pair of training trousers when filming and sleeping away from home.

Ridda Gesellensetter disastrously discovered that there is no truth to the myth that sleepwalking is safe. One night, the teacher, who often walks to the fridge in her sleep, fell out of the first floor window. Her face was badly injured and still bears the scars today.

For this "37 Grad" film, Matti Bauer recorded these and other sleepwalking stories and spoke to scientists about the reasons for somnambulism. Like Peter Sodann, one percent of Germany's adult population sleepwalks on a more or less regular basis and suffers from a particular kind of "wake-up disorder" which enables human beings to complete complicated tasks without being aware of it. Sleepwalkers turn night into day. They wash dishes, lock themselves out of their apartments and cycle to school in the middle of the night. Dark Excursions is a film about the puzzling world between sleep and wakefulness which has long captured the human imagination.