Everything Starts with a Single Step

Brothers and filmmakers Jan and Stephan Knuesel present the independently produced documentary feature «Negative: Nothing». It is the true story of Swiss man Thomas Koehler who walked 2900 kilometers all across Japan after the devastating Tsunami. His journey from the northern to the southern tip, through sunshine, rain and storm became a walk of hope. «Negative: Nothing» has been selling out theaters in Switzerland and Japan for three years. In 2014 the documentary film was picked-up for in-flight programming on all long distance flights of Swiss International Airlines for a period of six months. «Negative: Nothing» has become an unexpected success and a strong symbol of the friendship between Japan and Switzerland, that has remained for more than 150 years.


Independent Spirits – the story behind “Negative: Nothing”

Japan Tour 2012: Impressions & Reactions

Comments from the Audience


“Lonely, on the road, he encounters many people, simply using his body, he keeps going. Watching Thomas in this state is heart-warming. Because it feels like a microcosm of human life. A great documentary, in which encounters and good-byes repeat and a feeling of hope remains.”

– Rinko Kawauchi

“I strongly recommend 'Negative: Nothing' and sincerely hope that as many people as possible all over the world will see this documentary depicting Mr. Köhler’s strong will and love for Japan, both of which have given courage to the Japanese people at its most difficult time.”

– Ambassador Kazuyoshi Umemoto


“This film taught me courage and the warmth through human relationships.”

– Nana Sakuraoka

“Negative: Nothing is not a ‘travelogue film’ but a life story of one man, which inspires us a lot.”

– Chiho Iuchi

“negative:nothingとてもとても感銘を受け、感想は言葉にならないです。I’m really proud of being Japaneseと強く思いました。”

“Negative: Nothing left an unforgettable impression on me. I am at a loss for words trying to describe my emotions. I am proud of being Japanese, I thought over and over again.”

– Ayako Mizoue


“This film is an extraordinary warmhearted present from Switzerland to Japan.”

– Ai Koyama

“The film is a reflection of so many important themes in the lives of people these days.”

– Michelle Juhasz-Stevens

“It was wonderful movie. Thank you. I think all Japanese people should watch this and they will want to.”

– Yasushi Watanabe


“An extremely warmhearted film, which shows the good sides of Japan and the kindness of human beings.”

– Yasumasa Tomotoshi


“Look forward, without forgetting the past. Keep going. Spread the word. That's what this film taught me.”

– Ayako Mizoue

“Just want to say ‘being positive makes a difference’. A very impressive movie.”

– Kentaro Okamura


“A wonderful film full of tears, laughter and emotions.”

– Yoko Kinoshita

“This movie involved not only happy and funny things about a wonderful journey, but also sad things about 3/11. That was the best point.”

– Mayuko Arai

“The Best No-Special-Effect movie, but with a true effect on the heart!”

– Midori Ikematsu

“I was drawn into the story from the beginning to the very end. I couldn't have watched it without a handkerchief to wipe off my tears at many points of the film.”

– Yumiko Nishitani