Though HEIMAT runs an imposing 15-and-a-half hours, this epic work, chronicling life in a German village from 1919 to 1982, rarely fails to capture the viewer within its immense visionary scope. The events of the period--Germany's post-WWI depression, the rise of Nazism, WWII, and
postwar recovery--are seen not through the eyes of Germany's leaders, politicians, and artists, but through the eyes of the common people in the fictional village of Schabbach. At the center of the events is Breuer, who gives a remarkable performance. Using makeup, costumes and her gifted acting
talents, Breuer gives HEIMAT a heartfelt anchor, playing her character from childhood to old age.
Director Edgar Reitz's film, which is usually shown in four successive screenings, is both in color and black and white. The black-and-white sequences go from the 1920s to the early 1950s, with color encompassing the rest of the film, though at times Reitz intercuts the two processes to give
emphasis within a scene. Reitz's original plan was to rediscover his own background, so he began writing down the stories of his family and the people from his rural village. He had planned to turn this story into an epic novel, but at the urging of television producer Joachim von Mengershausen,
Reitz decided to put this project before the cameras. After writing a 2,000-page script with Peter Steinbach, Reitz shot a documentary dealing with a similar subject.
Production on HEIMAT finally began in 1981, but Reitz was forced to put everything on hold after four months because funding ran out. Though he started again two months later, the shooting was halted for financial reasons a second time. Reitz finally completed the lensing in late 1982, then took
18 months to edit the enormous amount of footage he had created. All told, HEIMAT took five years and four months to create from conception to final cut.
Sign up and add shows to get the latest updates about your favorite shows - Start Now
- 1. Bane Is Coming for Babs in This Gotham Sneak Peek
- 2. Schitt's Creek Renewed for Sixth and Final Season
- 3. Everything We Know About Black Mirror Season 5
- 4. Steven Universe Beautifully Fosters Non-Binary Self-Love Without Being Too Preachy
- 5. TV Still Struggles with Body-Positive Sex, But Shrill Is a Big Step Forward
- 6. Lifetime's She's Too Young Was a Sex Ed Cult Classic That Deserves More Respect
- 7. Courteney Cox Revisited Her Friends Apartment and We Couldn't Be Any More Nostalgic