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|Index||13 reviews in total|
Seeing this film, or rather set of films, in my early teens irrevocably
changed my idea of the possibilities of human interaction and the range of
potential experience. This monumental exploration of individuals, and
historical setting, reveals how full bodied and intense every human
existence is. The people are portrayed as they are to themselves: their
experiences of the smallest to the largest internal and external phenomena
are detailed with the greatest of artistry and perception. Edgar Reitz
displays a fabulous appreciation of human motivations and longings.
When these phenomena are set against the immense time allowed by the length of the work, one cannot help but apprehend the force and vivacity of happiness, defeat, lust, love, sadness, melancholy, that each person feels. When I saw these films I perceived my future experiences, how my life would inevitably twist and oscillate due to both intended and accidental events. I acquired a feeling of the longevity of being and what it meant to reflect upon past lives, memories and contexts. A masterpiece and a revelation. I only wish the BBC would screen it again.
If anyone knows where I can get a copy, could they contact me
This epic brings together a superbly-gifted cast and crew, a narrative depth superior to most novels, wonderful music, philosophy and a connection to LIFE that I find difficult to explain. To immerse oneself in Die Zweite Heimat is for me akin to a spiritual experience, similar to the awe one gets when looking at the stars in a clear night sky. The language, and use of both colour and monochrome segments adds to the dramatic impact. The film inspired me to go to Munich and visit some of the locations, including the Edgar Reitz office. From then on, I vowed to improve my German skills - after Die Zweite Heimat I feel almost German, as if I am in the head of the characters. I also try to match the piano playing of Henry Arnold (Hermann), but this is the one thing that will always elude me ! This drama is unparalleled and I have been fortunate to see it on BBC2 in the UK and SBS in Australia. The sequel, Heimat 3, is currently being filmed in Germany.
I remember watching this - presumably all however-many-hours
- on BBC2 as a teenager who had just started learning German. How I long
for it to be repeated again. It was a great (though obviously not a
commercial) success here in Britain, thanks to the Beeb. Sadly the German
public state broadcaster, Westdeutscher Rundfunk (WDR), which funded Die
Zweite Heimat, chose to relegate it to a very late night slot when it was
premiered, so in its own country it is less well known.
Meanwhile, though, if you can read German, try and get a copy of the screenplay. A massive hardback, to read the scripts and directions is just as engrossing as watching the films themselves - and there's some lovely colour and black-and-white stills too.
And if you haven't seen Heimat, the prequel, do so too!
You could be forgiven for passing over this movie or not having seen it all because you won't see it up for rental in Blockbusters, or for sale in HMV. And even the local cultural film centre would think twice about screening it - all TWENTY-SIX HOURS! But I was one of the lucky ones fortunate enough to catch the 13 two hour episodes shown on BBC2 and will always remember a movie which captures beautifully the lives and loves of the youth of a post-war Germany, indecisive and confused at what went before them and what future lays ahead. To many this may seem political, too boring, but the narrative and direction is inspiring and addictive as you follow the paths of these young adults and watch them grow and learn about a brave new world, fighting their history to form a new identity. 10/10.
As much as I admire the artistic quality of these 13 films, I still like the
original series of 11 "Heimat" films from the 80s even more and I think
there's a reason why "Die zweite Heimat" was shown only once on German TV
while there have been several reruns of "Heimat". Actually there are 2
1) The TV scene in Germany has changed dramatically between 1983 and 1993: the two (+ one local) public channels back then are in competition with more than 15 private channels now. This was not a good thing for the attention span of the audience and the quality of the programming.
2) Apart from this general reason there's a problem with "Die zweite Heimat" itself IMO. Almost all the protagonists are ambitious artists (in various fields like music or film) with a high political awareness. In this sense they form an active avantgarde of Germany's society in the 60s, which is quite in contrast to the mostly passive protagonists of "Heimat", who just react to the turbulent times they live in. Although this gives Edgar Reitz the chance to paint an even more precise and detailed picture (because he was part of this avantgarde and knew people like Clarissa, Juan or Reinhard), it's harder for the viewer to identify with these people. An example: the girl from Detmold (can't remember her name) is on her way to become a left-wing extremist (RAF-terrorist?) long before 'ordinary' people join the APO in 1968. Being so much ahead of your time makes it very hard for your contemporaries (let alone the viewer of the films), to understand your feelings and motivations.
Nevertheless these films belong to the best German films of the 90s and I would love to see them again. If you also like this 'chronicle'-genre let me recommend two other German series made for TV which are nearly just as good IMO and deserve to be better known: "Rote Erde" is about some families who go through the changes in the Ruhr-area mining industry between about 1890 and 1919 (first 9 episodes) resp. 1923 and the 50s (second 4 episodes). "Löwengrube" is about a policeman's family in Munich over three generations in the 20th century (32 episodes).
This film was the most important event in Rome in 1993. The film was shown during 13 weeks in the Movie Theater "Sacher" of Nanni Moretti. A week for each episode. The description of students' life in Germany between 1963 and 1968 was extremely informative and poetic. I cannot mention an episode that I liked best, everything in the 6 episodes I saw was wonderful. The images, the music, the plot, the characters touched the heart. It was very exciting seeing the director and the two main stars in the movie theater one night. Italy did not distribute this film on TV so I want to thank Nanni Moretti to have made the screenings possible. Many people I am sure all over the world would be interested in seeing those movies again...
In 1984, Edgar Reitz surprised film-lovers all over the world with his
epic opus Heimat: A Chronicle of Germany. Eight years later, he came up
with a sequel, The Second Heimat: Chronicle of a Youth, which is even
more astounding than its predecessor.
Actually, it's not really a sequel. It's more of a "midquel", as it covers events that took place between the ninth and eleventh episode of the first Heimat cycle.
The Second Heimat begins in 1960, four years after Hermann Simon (Henry Arnold) was separated from his first love, Klarchen, courtesy of his intolerant mother and elder brother (the controversy had to do with him being a minor, while she was about 25). Still angered by those events, the young man vows never to fall in love again (a grandiose, if creepy scene), and decides to move to Munich (like the director himself did in approximately the same period), hoping to become a professional composer after a few years spent at the music academy. He stays in Munich for ten years, and the thirteen two-hour episodes of Heimat 2 cover that time-frame, each of them focusing on a different person among Hermann's fellow students, people who, like him, are searching for a "second home country", be it music, film or something else, in which they can finally live peacefully.
Like the first Heimat, this second cycle is a perfect union of film and television: the episodic structure and the various romantic subplots make it look like a soap opera, in fact The Second Heimat needs to be seen in its entirety to be successfully embraced, whereas some chapters of Heimat 1 could be viewed as separate stories (in particular, the one concerning Hermann's teenage years). The style and content, however, is pure auteur cinema, with the familiar black and white/color transitions (actually, a tad more predictable this time around) and ambiguous characters, the latter element being underlined by the relationship between Hermann and cello player Clarissa Lichtblau (Salome Kammer): they clearly love each other, yet they keep embarking on affairs with other people, delaying the inevitable until it's too late. This time, Reitz seems to be more pessimistic regarding his characters ( at one point, Hermann is so disillusioned he says: "The Beatles are much better than us!"), building entire episodes around dark, controversial themes such as abortion and suicide. The decade he's exploring is not suitable for everyone, as some are scarred in dramatic ways by the pivotal events of the '60s (the '68 revolution especially).
Reitz also seems to have made this mini-series specifically for movie-buffs, given the numerous film references (including a brilliant Casablanca quote) and clever in-jokes (one episode is set in Venice, whose film festival had an important part in the Heimat saga's success). And since 1992, film-lovers have never ceased to thank him for delivering 26 of the most compelling hours ever committed to celluloid.
Zweite Heimat is a very engrossing film with wonderful characterization. After the first two or three episodes, I became very involved with the characters. Some you love, some you hate. It also gives an insight into German society. The story of a group of students trying to find their place in life is, however, universal. Although I am a second generation American, some of the parents in this film reminded me of my own parents, aunts and uncles whose roots are from Germany. I received the set of videos as a Christmas gift so that I could keep up my German. I have some problems understanding the characters who speak in dialect, but most of them speak "Hoch Deutsch." The subtitles do come in handy, although occasionally the white letters are difficult to see, especially when shown against snow! The photography is beautiful and made me long to visit Germany again.
Absolutely, I agree with my previous commentator in describing
this as a riveting,fascinating and certainly beautiful
It's not necessary to see all the episodes,since the first ones are the
best,while the last ones are a-bit tiresome,but for
any person who likes German's and their good-natured ways,all
episodes are worth seeing.In typical german fashion, values
are constantly questioned,even it's murderous Nazi past
confronted in the last episodes, the rich dialogues are
These episodes are recommended for anyone who is about to
or travel in Germany,preferably in original language!!
I first saw Heimat 2 on BBC2 in the 90's when I was at art college
living and moving among artists and musicians, hoping for future
success. So 'The Second Home' - of friendships made after leaving the
familial home, of striving for a professional excellence - strongly
resonated with my living reality. I was captivated by the characters,
the storytelling, the lyrical camera-work and above all by the music.
In it I could divine the beginnings of German Electronic music, of 50's
Stockhausen, Kraftwerk, Can, Neue, Faust of the 70's, the sound
experiments of John Cage, Walter Carlos and the British electronic
psychedelia of The White Noise. The soundtrack composer Nikos
Mamangakis studied with Carl Orff of Carmina Burana-fame so I found its
tastes contemporary to the Electronic Pop/ Sound Effects world.
I hadnt seen Heimat or Heimat 3 so I watched it as a whole in itself without a before or after. As someone else has commented, it is both epic and lyrical - historical and artistic. Many favourite moments including the wonderful voice of Gisela Muller (Evelyn), the Bach marimba of Daniel Smith (Juan), the piano-playing of Henry Arnold (Hermann) and the cello-playing of Salome Kammer (Clarissa).
I could write more but it's already been said here. Why can't British or US TV PRODUCE SUCH MASTERPIECES ? The Wire had the realism and politics and epic sweep of a city, David Lynch and Dennis Potter had imaginative tropes to their serialised TV work too but this is art-house and soap at its most cinematic and narrative sublime. It's never included in critics' choices of Best Films but it should be. Still as poetic and powerful as when I first saw it over 17 years ago. I watch the 3 boxed sets every autumn for their 'mellow fruitfulness'. Inspired and inspiring.
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