Heimat 3 (15)
Time Out saysThe third part of Edgar Reitz’s classic ‘Heimat’ trilogy begins on the night the Berlin Wall falls: November 9 1989. Composer Hermann (Henry Arnold), scion of the Simon family, meets the love of his life, singer Clarissa Lichtblau (Salome Kammer) in a hotel room. Kept apart until now by circumstance and their respective careers, they decide to live together, going so far as to build a house in the Hunsrück region where Hermann grew up and which he was desperate to flee. The East German workers hired for the renovation job initially provide some of the ‘Ossi’ humour we may have seen in ‘Good Bye, Lenin!’. As in that film, ‘Heimat 3’s’ second chapter plays with Soviet and 1990 World Cup imagery, though a darker undertow soon prevails.
This strong beginning will certainly woo newcomers, while for fans there’s the additional pleasure of seeing actors reprising earlier roles: Arnold and Kammer from ‘Heimat 2’, plus, among others, Matthias Kniesbeck and Michael Kausch from the first work, as Hermann’s half-brothers Anton and Ernst. As the dream sours, though, there’s a sense in the middle two films of these six that Reitz is less attracted by the business intrigues of the bourgeois Simons than, for instance, the compensatory development of the role of Hermann’s daughter, Lulu. As the house and then the landscape seem to turn against the family, the fifth film provides a damning examination of the plight of returning German Russians, at home nowhere. Over 11 hours, Reitz manages to look anew at his abiding theme – how do we belong? – but the terrible sense of foreboding that’s been apparent throughout is not banished by what should be a deservedly celebratory conclusion. It’s a tribute to Reitz’s remarkable achievement that not one viewer wouldn’t want more.
Fri May 6, 2005