Heimat (film series)

Heimat is a series of films written and directed by Edgar Reitz about life in Germany from the 1840s to 2000 through the eyes of a family from the Hunsrück area of the Rhineland. The family's personal and domestic life is set against the backdrop of wider social and political events. The combined length of the 5 films – broken into 32 episodes – is 59 hours and 32 minutes, making it one of the longest series of feature-length films in cinema history.

Original movie poster
Directed byEdgar Reitz
Produced byEdgar Reitz
Hans Kwiet
Joachim von Mengershausen
Robert Busch
Christian Reitz
Margaret Menegoz
Written by
  • Edgar Reitz
  • Peter F. Steinbach
  • (Heimat & Fragments)
  • Thomas Brussig
  • (Heimat 3 & Fragments)
  • Gert Heidenreich
  • (Home From Home)
StarringMarita Breuer
Henry Arnold
Salome Kammer
Mathias Kniesbeck
Michael Kausch
Nicola Schössler
Jan Dieter Schneider
Music byNikos Mamangakis
Michael Riessler
CinematographyGernot Roll
Gerard Vandenberg
Christian Reitz
Thomas Mauch
Edited by
  • Heidi Handorf
  • (Heimat)
  • Susanne Hartmann
  • (Heimat 2 & Heimat 3)
  • Christian Reitz
  • (Fragments)
  • Uwe Klimmeck
  • (Home From Home)
Release date
  • 16 September 1984
  • (Heimat)
  • 4 March 1993
  • (Heimat 2)
  • 15 December 2004
  • (Heimat 3)
  • 2 September 2006
  • (Heimat Fragments)
  • 13 October 2013
  • (Home From Home)
Running time
59 12 hours (total)
CountryWest Germany

The title Heimat (pronounced [ˈhaɪmat]) is a German word, often translated as "homeland" or "home place", but it has been alleged that the word has no true English equivalent.[1] Usage has come to include that of an ironic reference to the film genre known as Heimatfilm which was popular in Germany in the 1950s. Heimat films were characterised by rural settings, sentimental tone and simplistic morality.

Aesthetically, the series is notable for the frequent switching between color and black-and-white film to convey different emotional states. In 1987 it won a BAFTA for "Foreign Television Programme".[2]

The first film was released in 1984 with a followup in 1993. A direct sequel to the original film was released in 2003. Using unused footage and outtakes to create a narrative, in 2006, a film was released focusing on the women, as Hermann's daughter Lulu looks back on her family history. A prequel film to the original was released in 2013.


Tales from the Hunsrück Villages

Before creating the Heimat series, Edgar Reitz produced a documentary during 1980–81 about people from his home region, the Hunsrück, where he later set the Heimat series. In Geschichten aus den Hunsrückdörfern (English: Tales from the Hunsrück Villages) he showed people who had not left the region, unlike Heimat's theme of leaving home. This documentary is not considered to be part of the core Heimat series but set the stage for the work to come a few years later.

Autobiographical elements

Berkeley film and media professor Anton Kaes argued that auteur film-maker Reitz's trilogy was autobiographical. Reitz and Paul Simon, his fictional character in Heimat, had fathers who were skilled craftsmen. Edgar Reitz was born in 1932 and Paul Simon in 1898 in Hunsrück. They grew up there, then left when they were in their twenties and returned in their fifties.[3]:164 Like Hermann Simon in the 1950s, Reitz left rural life for the world of German urban avant-garde arts and intelligentsia. Reitz worked at the Institute of Film Design in Ulm, while Hermann became a celebrated conductor in Munich. Wealthy American entrepreneur Paul Simon returned to Hunsrück only briefly when the war ended, but Hermann Simon's return was more permanent. He and his lover Clarissa restored a house overlooking the Rhine that lay in ruins, eventually composing music for representing and celebrating his relationship to Heimat. Both Hermann and Reitz "dramatized the tensions between staying home, leaving and returning" (Kaes 1989:164), Hermann through music and Reitz through film.


After watching Holocaust, Reitz was offended by the American 'melodramaticisation' of the tragic events and the positive reception the film received. In 1979, Reitz began to make notes of his own life and completed a 250-page screenplay draft based upon his youth. Later in the year, Reitz contacted Peter Steinbach and together after what was planned to be a single night, they stayed for the next thirteen months in a small hut in Woppenroth writing a script. They became friendly with the local villagers and invited them to comment on the characters and incidents in the story.[4] In 1980, Reitz and Steinbach completed a 2,000-page screenplay. The success of Berlin Alexanderplatz had convinced television production companies that there was a market for sagas. After some haggling, Reitz managed to secure funding for the length of the script and remodeling of five Hunsrück villages.

Shooting began on the first film in May 1981, and continued for eighteen months. The cast consisted of 140 speaking parts, 32 full-time actors, 15 non-professional actors and 3,862 extras. Many of the cast had limited stage experience or no acting experience at all. While shooting, the villagers became heavily involved in the project and helped with re-modelling or set changes depending on the time period. Villagers put out advertisements in nearby villages in hope to find authentic items that could be used as props.

During shooting, Reitz decided that certain elements required extra emphasis that only colour could provide. However, Reitz was quick to deny any theories behind the alternations between black-and-white and colour.

Thirteen months were required for editing with Reitz working alongside Heidi Handorf. Together they created an eighteen-hour rough cut that was later trimmed to just over fifteen hours. Post-production continued until the premiere at Munich Film Festival in 1984. The entire project had taken over five years to complete.

While making Heimat, Reitz had become interested in developing a series of love stories with the working title of Men and Women. However, in October 1985, Reitz decided to make these tales the basis of Die Zweite Heimat (English: The Second Heimat).[5] The film follows the character Hermann as he leaves to study music in Munich and meets new friends, who are all following their own dreams.

Running at over 25 hours, Die Zweite Heimat took over six years to write and production lasted 557 days. The cast comprised 71 leading actors, 310 supporting actors and 2,300 extras. The film's soundtrack also became the longest soundtrack ever produced.


Film Episodes Release
Runtime Release date
Heimat 11 15:24 hours 16 September 1984
Die Zweite Heimat
a.k.a. Heimat 2
13 25:09 hours 4 March 1993
Heimat 3 6 12:41 hours 15 December 2004
Heimat Fragments 1 2:26 hours 2 September 2006
Home from Home 1 3:45 hours 28 September 2013


Heimat, the original series, premiered in 1984 and follows the life of Maria Simon, a woman living in the fictional village of Schabbach. It was filmed in and around the village of Woppenroth in Rhein-Hunsrück, a rural region of Germany to the west of the Rhineland-Palatinate. Subtitled Eine Deutsche Chronik A German Chronicle, it consists of 11 episodes running in total to 15 hours 24 minutes of screen time. The film spans 1919 to 1982, and depicts how historical events affect the Simon family and the community in which they lived. At the start of each episode, Glasisch Karl narrates the story so far over photographs by Eduard Simon.

Heimat episodes
No. Title Setting Runtime Release date
1 "The Call of Faraway Places"
1919–1928 119 minutes 16 September 1984
2 "The Centre of the World"
"Die Mitte der Welt"
1929–1933 90 minutes 19 September 1984
3 "The Best Christmas Ever"
"Weihnacht wie noch nie"
1935 58 minutes 23 September 1984
4 "The Highway"
1938 58 minutes 26 September 1984
5 "Up and Away and Back"
"Auf und davon und zurück"
1938–39 59 minutes 8 October 1984
6 "The Home Front"
1943 59 minutes 15 October 1984
7 "Soldiers and Love"
"Die Liebe der Soldaten"
1944 59 minutes 22 October 1984
8 "The American"
"Der Amerikaner"
1945–1947 102 minutes 31 October 1984
9 "Little Hermann"
1955–1956 138 minutes 4 November 1984
10 "The Proud Years"
"Die stolzen Jahre"
1967–1969 82 minutes 21 October 1984
11 "The Feast of the Living and the Dead"
"Das Fest der Lebenden und der Toten"
1982 100 minutes 24 October 1984

Die zweite Heimat (Leaving Home)

Die zweite Heimat (literally "The Second Heimat"; English title Heimat 2) (subtitled Chronik einer Jugend Chronicle of a Youth) followed in 1992. It is set during the socially turbulent years of the 1960s and how Maria's youngest son Hermann leaves his rural home and makes a new life for himself as a composer in Munich.

Hermann is a musical prodigy whose teenage romance in 1955 with 26-year-old soul-mate Klärchen was considered scandalous by his conservative home village. It resulted in her being expelled and coerced not to contact him ever again. Hermann was crushed and vowed never to love again and to leave his wicked village forever. He arrives in Munich at age 19, overwhelmed and with no place to stay. He finds a private room opening in a month, leaving the deposit with a flamboyant Hungarian woman. His friend Renate, a law student, allows Hermann to sleep on her floor but he is put off by her sexual advances. He finally rooms with Clemens, a fellow Hunsrücker who plays jazz drums in Munich's clubs. Hermann is accepted into the music conservatory, where he meets the incredibly talented Juan from Chile, whose school application is rejected on the grounds his marimbas are "folklore". Hermann and Juan network with the avant-garde culture surrounding the conservatory, including film students, while Hermann takes odd jobs and Juan works as a gymnastics teacher. Both Juan and Hermann have a brief fling with the beautiful cellist Clarissa, who is drawn to those who also fear intimacy. The students are gradually drawn to the Foxhole, a mansion headed by a wealthy art patroness said to be a "collector of artists".

Die Zweite Heimat episodes
No. Title Setting Featured


Runtime Release date
1 "The Time of the First Songs"
"Die Zeit der ersten Liede"
1960 Hermann 116 minutes 4 March 1993
2 "Two Strange Eyes"
"Zwei fremde Augen"
1960–61 Juan 115 minutes 7 March 1993
3 "Jealousy and Pride"
"Eifersucht und Stolz"
1961 Evelyne 116 minutes 11 March 1993
4 "Ansgar's Death"
"Ansgars Tod"
1961–62 Ansgar 100 minutes 14 March 1993
5 "The Game with Freedom"
"Das Spiel mit der Freiheit"
1962 Helga 120 minutes 18 March 1993
6 "Kennedy's Children"
"Kennedys Kinder"
1963 Alex 109 minutes 21 March 1993
7 "Christmas Wolves"
1963 Clarissa 110 minutes 25 March 1993
8 "The Wedding"
"Die Hochzeit"
1964 Schnüsschen 120 minutes 28 March 1993
9 "The Eternal Daughter"
"Die ewige Tochter"
1965 Fräulein Cerphal 118 minutes 1 April 1993
10 "The End of the Future"
"Das Ende der Zukunft"
1966 Reinhard 131 minutes 4 April 1993
11 "Time of Silence"
"Die Zeit des Schweigens"
1967–68 Rob 118 minutes 8 April 1993
12 "A Time of Many Words"
"Die Zeit der vielen Worte"
1968–69 Stefan 119 minutes 11 April 1993
13 "Art or Life"
"Kunst oder Leben"
1970 Hermann &
119 minutes 11 April 1993

Heimat 3

Heimat 3 (subtitled Chronik einer Zeitenwende Chronicle of a Changing Time) premiered in 2004. It continues Hermann's story in 1989 as he returns to Schabbach and depicts the events of the period from the fall of the Berlin Wall until 2000. The cinema version consists of six episodes running to 11 hours 29 minutes, although controversially the version broadcast on the German ARD television network in December 2004 was edited to six 90-minute episodes[6] and it is this 20% shorter version which was released on DVD.

Heimat 3 episodes
No. Title Setting Runtime Release date
1 "The Happiest People in the World"
"Das glücklichste Volk der Welt"
1989 106 minutes 15 December 2004
2 "The World Champions"
"Die Weltmeister"
1990 100 minutes 17 December 2004
3 "The Russians are Coming"
"Die Russen kommen"
1992–93 124 minutes 20 December 2004
4 "Everyone's Doing Well"
"Allen geht's gut"
1995 132 minutes 22 December 2004
5 "The Heirs"
"Die Erben"
1997 103 minutes 27 December 2004
6 "Farewell to Schabbach"
"Abschied von Schabbach"
1999–2000 105 minutes 29 December 2004

Heimat-Fragmente (Heimat Fragments)

Heimat-Fragmente (English title Heimat Fragments), subtitled Die Frauen The Women, was released in cinemas in 2006 and focuses on the women of the Simon family at the turn of the millennium, and in the 1960s.

Die andere Heimat (Home from Home)

In April 2012, Reitz started filming a prequel to the series: Die andere Heimat (literally "The other Heimat"; English title Home from Home), with the subtitle Chronik einer Sehnsucht Chronicle of a Vision. The film takes place between 1840 and 1844 and centres around two brothers, their families and love relations from the Hunsrück area and their decision whether to flee hunger and poverty by emigrating to Brazil.[7] Principal filming was completed in August 2012. It was screened at the Venice Film Festival in September 2013. The film was awarded a score of 70 on critical aggregator website Metacritic, indicating generally favorable reviews.[7]



  • Marita Breuer as Maria Simon (née Wiegand) (7 August 1900 – 18 September 1982)
  • Michael Lesch (episodes 1&2) and Dieter Schaand (episodes 8, 10&11) as Paul Simon (1898–1984)
  • Karin Kienzler (episodes 1&2) and Eva Maria Bayerwaltes (episodes 3–8) as Pauline Kröber (née Simon) (1904–75)
  • Rüdiger Weigang as Eduard Simon (1897–1967)
  • Gertrud Bredel as Katharina Simon (née Schirmer) (10 November 1875 – 10 May 1947)
  • Willi Berger as Mathias Simon (11 June 1872 – 23 January 1945)
  • Johannes Lobewein as Alois Wiegand (1870–1965)
  • Kurt Wagner as Glasisch-Karl (1900–1982)
  • Eva Maria Schneider as Marie-Goot (1882–1960)
  • Alexander Scholz as Hänschen Betz (c.1908 - 15 January 1944)
  • Arno Land as Robert Kröber (1902–1944)
  • Karin Rasenack as Lucie Simon (née Hardtke) (1906–1978)

Die Zweite Heimat

  • Henry Arnold as Hermann Simon (29 May 1940– ). He left home 2 September 1960.
  • Salome Kammer as Clarissa Lichtblau (c.1940– )
  • Anke Sevenich as Waltraud 'Schnüsschen' Schneider (c.1940– )
  • Noemi Steuer as Helga Aufschrey (June, 1939– )
  • Daniel Smith as Juan Subercasseaux (c.1940– )
  • Gisela Müller as Evelyne Cerphal (July 1942– )
  • Michael Seyfried as Ansgar Herzsprung (1938–1962). Studied medicine.
  • Michael Schönborn as Alex (c.1935– ). Philosophy student.
  • László I. Kish as Reinhard Dörr. Film Student
  • Peter Weiss as Rob Stürmer. Film student.
  • Frank Röth as Stefan Aufhauser. Law student.
  • Lena Lessing as Olga Müller. Aspiring actress.
  • Armin Fuchs as Volker Schimmelpfennig.
  • Martin Maria Blau as Jean-Marie Weber (1939– ) When a child, he lived in Narbonne, south of France and went to boarding school in France and Switzerland.
  • Franziska Traub as Renate Leineweber (c.1942– )
  • Hannelore Hoger as Elisabeth Cerphal (1911– ). Evelyne's aunt and older sister Arno, Evelyne's father (8 August 1919) who died in 1941.
  • Manfred Andrae as Gerold Gattinger
  • Hanna Köhler as Frau Moretti
  • Fred Stillkrauth as Kohlen-Josef
  • Alfred Edel as Herr Edel (c.1910–1961)
  • Veronica Ferres as Dorli
  • Irene Kugler as Marianne Westphal (1929– )
  • Daniel Much as Tommy (c.1950)
  • Eva Maria Schneider as Marie-Goot
  • Eva Maria Bayerwaltes as Pauline Kröber
  • Kurt Wagner as Glasisch Karl


Simon family

  • Matthias Simon (11 June 1872 – 23 January 1945), a blacksmith married to Katharina Schirmer (1875–1947). They are parents of Eduard, Pauline, and Paul.
    • Eduard Simon (1897–1967), mayor of Rhaunen who was convinced early in life that there was gold in the Hunsrück streams. He always had trouble with his lungs; during treatment in Berlin, he met and later married Lucie Hardtke (1906–1978), a brothel madam who embraced life in the Hunsrück. They had a child, Horst Simon (1934–1948), who was killed at an early age, after discovering a landmine in the forest.
    • Paul Simon (1898–1984), owner of Simon Electric. He married Maria Wiegand in 1922 and fathered Anton and Ernst (see Maria Wiegand below). After returning from fighting in World War I, Paul felt claustrophobic in Hunsrück society and ran away to the U.S. in 1928 to start Simon Electric in Detroit, Michigan. He returned in 1945 and visited until 1947. He left again the day of his mother's funeral.
    • Pauline Simon (1904–1975), assistant jewelry shop owner. Married watchmaker Robert Kröber (1897–1944). Both became modestly wealthy during the 1930s. Parents of Gabi (1935– ) and Robert (1937– ).

Wiegand family

  • Alois Wiegand (1870–1965), mayor of Schabbach who married Martha Wiegand (1878–1945). Parents of Gustav, Wilfried and Maria. Alois was an abrasive wealthy man who embraced status symbols, and later became a Nazi supporter. With his SS son Wilfried he oversaw the village's allegiance to Hitler during World War II.
    • Gustav Wiegand (1897–1917), died as a World War I soldier. Not married; no children.
    • Wilfried Wiegand (1915–1972), member of the SS during the war. He executed a downed British pilot under false pretenses. At a Schabbach party he revealed that Jews were being sent "up the chimney" and in the vein of Himmler lamented how his SS comrades suffered from this unpleasant task. He became a farmer after the war and was also a member of the Christian Democratic Union. Did not marry and had no children.
    • Maria Wiegand Simon (7 August 1900 – 18 September 1982), matriarch of the family after World War II. Married Paul Simon and gave birth to Anton and Ernst. Gave birth in 1940 to Hermann, with Otto Wohlleben (1902–1944), a half-Jewish engineer who came to work on a new highway before the outbreak of war, and was killed defusing a bomb.
      • Anton Simon (1923–1995), owner of Simon Optical factory. Married to Martha Hanke (1924–1987). Had numerous children born 1945-1953: Marlies, Hartmut, Dieter, Helga, and Gisela. Anton worked for a German Army propaganda unit during World War II and served on the Eastern Front. There is one scene showing him filming single executions – these are almost certainly partisans given that the time is 1943 (and widespread executions in the field had ceased on the orders of Himmler) and also the fact that the machine gun crew carrying out the executions are German Army regulars and not Einsatzgruppen. After the German defeat and subsequent imprisonment in a Russian labor camp, Anton walked home to Germany in the late 1940s. He arrived 10 May 1947, after walking five-thousand kilometres. He founded Simon Optical with investment from father Paul.
      • Ernst Simon (1924–1997), German Air Force pilot and construction business owner. He had an early aptitude for flying. After the war he attempted unsuccessfully to operate a helicopter business. In the 1960s he started a thriving home-renovation business which destroyed the village's traditional architecture.
      • Hermann Simon (1940– ), conductor and composer. At age 15 he was in love with Klärchen Sisse, 26, who left the area after their affair was discovered. Moved away from the Hunsrück at age 18 to study music in Munich.

Schirmer family

  • Katharina Schirmer (10 November 1875 – 10 May 1947), matriarch of the family before World War II. Married to Matthias Simon (see Matthias Simon above).
  • Marie-Goot Schirmer (1882–1960), sister of Katharina Simon, married to Mäthes-Pat (1869–1949). Marie-Goot was characterized as a gossipy neighbor.
    • Karl Glasisch (1900–1982), son of Marie-Goot. Mäthes-Pat is not his father. Throughout the film he was Schabbach's friendly, good-natured drunk, dissociated from village life but seeing all. He served as the story narrator.
  • Hans Schirmer (20 April 1873 – 1943), lived in Bochum. Father of Fritz and brother of Katharina. Was remembered for having the same birthday as Hitler.
    • Fritz Schirmer (1903–1937), young Communist sympathizer who lived in Bochum. Married Alice (1902–1945). Parents of Lotti and Ursel. Fritz was sent to a concentration camp, but he was later released on condition he stayed out of any political activity.
      • Lotti Schirmer (1923– ), chief secretary of Simon Optical. Came from Bochum with Katherina after her father was arrested. After World War II she was a carefree single girl, a friend of Klärchen Sisse, and in later life she married Sepp Vilsmeier (1920– ). Adopted Vietnamese children Hoa (1973- ) and Hou (1975- ).
      • Ursel Schirmer (1936–1945). Died during an air raid.
    • Walter Schirmer (1899–1943), of Bochum, married Lilli (1901–1969). No children.

Other characters

  • Klärchen Sisse (1929– ), worked at Simon Optik and was a friend of Lotti Schirmer. She enters the story in 1945, as a 16-yr-old refugee from elsewhere in Germany who has been advised by Ernst to go his mother's house in Schabbach, where she will be 'looked after'. Just as he says, Klärchen is accepted into the Simon household and effectively treated as one of the family, eventually gaining a position with Simon Optik. A 1956 love affair with Hermann Simon, who is 11 years her junior, results in her becoming pregnant, leaving the village and having an abortion.
  • Apollonia (c.1900–?), brief love interest for Paul Simon c. 1920. Was ostracized in Schabbach for her dark complexion. Had a child by a Frenchman and moved to France, never to be seen again.
  • Martina (c.1910 – 1945), a prostitute from Berlin and friend of Lucie Hardtke who attempted to bring her trade to the Hunsrück. Was in love with Pollak (1910–1945), both died in Berlin.
  • Hänschen Betz (c.1908 – 15 January 1944), son of the Schabbach basketmaker, had an injured eye from childhood. With the encouragement of soldiers he became a sharpshooter. Died on the Russian Front during World War II, for which Eduard felt some responsibility having encouraged Hänschen's shooting practice when young.
  • Fritz Pieritz (c.1902–?), good-natured assistant to Otto Wohlleben, later worked for Anton Simon at Simon Optik.
  • Denise de Gallimasch (c.1900–?), a French horse rider of debatable nobility en route from Paris to Berlin.


Release and awards

After premiering in Germany, Heimat was shown in Venice, London and New York festivals. It was shown in movie screens around the world in separate parts. However, it gained its worldwide exposure on television, across 26 countries. In order to shape the film into eleven episodes, Reitz devised introductory segments in which Kurt Wagner as Glasisch narrated the brief story so far, over photographs by Eduard Simon. In Germany, the broadcast received over fifteen million viewers.

Heimat earned Edgar Reitz the FIPRESCI Prize at the 1984 Venice Film Festival, while Marita Breuer won the Darstellerpreis for Best Actress at the 1985 Bavarian Film Awards. In the United Kingdom the film won a BAFTA and the London Film Critics' Circle award for Best Foreign Language Film.

Die Zweite Heimat premiered at the Venice Biennale and broadcast rights were purchased by television companies in 16 different countries. However, the German backers were disappointed that it received a smaller percentage-viewing share than the first. Reitz said the executives overlooked the fact that in 1984 only three channels existed compared to more than twenty in 1992. In the United States the film had a short theatrical run in New York at The Public Theater. It also screened at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston and various Goethe Institute across the country. It was not picked up for television by US cable networks.

In Italy the film was shown at a large venue in Rome, that had sold out tickets weekly. Reitz was presented with the Eurofipa d’honneur award at the Cannes Film Festival in 1994.

Critical reception

Heimat received acclaim around the world. Many were enthusiastic how it never felt like a television movie, but a cinematic experience. Many praised the themes through the film about leaving and returning and simply how we connect to the larger world from our home. Reitz received thousands of letters from ordinary people, thanking him for retrieving and unlocking their memories of the 1919-1982 period. However, critic Leonie Naughton accused the film of presenting a "bourgeois history of the Third Reich, a homespun tale of innocence."

Die Zweite Heimat received a lukewarm reception in the United States. National press coverage was limited to a single review by Stephen Holden in The New York Times, who described Hermann Simon as "a hotheaded romantic" and the film as a "alternately gripping and lyrical 13-episode serial about German life in the 1960s". Holden also declared the film a "the ultimate highbrow soap opera for couch potatoes".[8]

British press for Die Zweite Heimat was more enthusiastic with The Financial Times, The Observer and The Independent all praising it.

Lasting impact

Heimat was one of director Stanley Kubrick's favourite films.[9] It is ranked No. 59 in Empire magazine's "The 100 Best Films Of World Cinema" in 2010.[10] It also finished in 6th place when BBC Two ran a 40th birthday poll celebrating the station's greatest programmes and was 10th in Channel 4's 50 Greatest TV Dramas.[11]

Heimat has faced some criticism for its selective interpretation of German history, with some writers noting that there is limited treatment of the hyperinflationary spiral of the 1920s, the Great Depression, or certain aspects of Nazi history such as the Holocaust of World War II.[3]:182–192[12] In 1985, Timothy Garton Ash wrote in The New York Review of Books that:

When you show the 1930s as a golden age of prosperity and excitement in the German countryside, when you are shown the Germans as victims of the war, then you inevitably find yourself asking: But what about the other side? What about Auschwitz? Where is the director's moral judgment? To which the color filters insistently reply: 'Remember, remember, this is a film about what Germans remember. Some things they remember in full color. Some in sepia. Others they prefer to forget. Memory is selective. Memory is partial. Memory is amoral.'[13][12]

Heimat's themes of decadent American values and Western corporate greed rising up against the innocent simplicity of the Hunsrück have been seen as "resurrecting a discourse that prevailed in the nineteenth century about the modernization of Germany's society and economy ... no compromises or delicate balances are possible".[14]

Barbara Gabriel argued that the series was part of a larger movement of national memory work in Germany, provoked in part by the American television series Holocaust. As European art in general and German art in particular underwent a resurgence in the 1960s, artists like Günter Grass and Edgar Reitz captured international attention as they grappled with issues of identity in a divided, post-Holocaust Germany.[15]

See also

  • The Village, a 2013 TV series set in England and inspired by the series.


  1. Blickle, Peter (2004). Heimat: A Critical Theory of the German Idea of Homeland. Columbia, Maryland: Boydell & Brewer. ISBN 1571133038.
  2. "Television | Foreign Television Programme in 1987". BAFTA. Retrieved 15 August 2017.
  3. Kaes, Anton (1992). From Hitler to Heimat: The Return of History as Film. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press. ISBN 0674324560.
  4. Parkinson, David (2004) Heimat: An Introduction
  5. Parkinson, David (2004) Heimat 2: An Introduction
  6. "Heimat". Retrieved 10 March 2016.
  7. "Home from Home: Chronicle of a Vision". Metacritic. 10 September 2015. Retrieved 18 March 2017.
  8. Holden, Stephen (7 June 1993). "A 25 1/2-Hour German Epic of Discovery and Art". The New York Times. Retrieved 13 January 2018.
  9. "Stanley Kubrick, cinephile". BFI. 25 July 2016. Retrieved 8 February 2018.
  10. "The 100 Best Films Of World Cinema". Empire. 11 June 2010. Retrieved 13 January 2018.
  11. Parkinson, David (14 November 2012). "Heimat Fragments: The Women - a masterly addition to the epic series". MovieMail.com. Wayback Machine. Archived from the original on 14 June 2013. Retrieved 4 April 2013.
  12. Timothy Garton Ash (19 December 1985). "The Life of Death". The New York Review of Books. Retrieved 22 June 2012.
  13. Alan Andres. "Die Zweite Heimat: Published reviews: Reception in the United States". Retrieved 22 June 2012.
  14. Barkin, Kenneth; Reitz, Edgar (October 1991). "Heimat: Eine Deutsche Chronik". The American Historical Review. 96 (4): 1124. doi:10.2307/2165003.
  15. Kristeva, Julia; Roudiez, Leon S. (1992). Powers of Horror: An Essay on Abjection. New York: Columbia University Press. ISBN 0231053479.
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