This is not only a sequel to the "Second Heimat", but also a chronicle of a very decisive decade for Germany (1989 to 200). The main couple of the mini-series released in 1992, Hermann ... See full summary »
This is not only a sequel to the "Second Heimat", but also a chronicle of a very decisive decade for Germany (1989 to 200). The main couple of the mini-series released in 1992, Hermann Simon and Clarissa Lichtbau (played by the same actors), reunite after almost exactly 19 years. Their last night of love in November 1970 closed the previous series. Now, on November 9th, 1989, when the Berlin Wall falls, Hermann and Clarissa meet each other again by mere chance. Surrounded by celebrations, the former lovers bring each other up to date, and reestablish a relationship. Hermann has become a well known maestro and Clarissa, a respected singer, but both lead solitary lives. Clarissa takes Hermann back to his birthplace, Schabbach where he can revisit his brothers, Ernst and Anton (the same actors from Heimat 1), who stayed on there, and extended family and friends. Nearby on a hill, is the house of Clarissa's dreams, a mansion in ruins. Another national party uniting Germany, the 1990 World... Written by
In 1984, Edgar Reitz made Heimat (the term translates roughly as birthplace or homeland), an undisputed masterpiece of German cinema, a 15-hour epic covering almost eighty years of Germany's recent history as lived by Maria Simon, a woman living in the small fictional village of Schabbach, in the Hunsrück-region.
In 1992, Reitz made the equally great Die Zweite Heimat, chronicling the period from 1960 to 1970, in which Maria's son Hermann leaves the stifling atmosphere of his village to study music in the city of Münich.
Both Heimats offered a kaleidoscopic plenitude of characters and stories, striking the right balance between the personal and the historical, the specific and the universal.
Another decade has passed and here's Heimat 3, starting on the day of the fall of the Berlin Wall and ending on the dawn of the new millennium. As two Germany's reunite, Hermann Simon, now a celebrated conductor, reunites with the love of his life, singer Clarissa Lichtblau, and they decide to move back to the Hunsrück.
Heimat 3 is still very good, but the alchemy that lifted both its predecessors into greatness isn't quite there. In Heimat 1 history (the rise of Nazism, the war, the defeat, the economic miracle,...) came to the characters; in Die Zweite Heimat the characters became part of history (Vietnam protests, the sexual revolution, the extremism of the Baader-Meinhoff group,...); in Heimat 3, history is still there, but it takes place in the distant background, far away from Hermann and Clarissa's comfortable home in the Hunsrück. What we're left with in its 11-hours runtime are mainly personal stories (an accident, a marital crisis, a bankruptcy,...) which makes it less of an epic and more of a (well written, well acted, well directed) soap-opera.
Perhaps we're in the wrong Heimat: you get the feeling that a movie set during the same period in an East-German village would have yielded a more compelling drama. Or perhaps Reitz' reluctance to deal more directly with the reunification of Germany results from the fact that Reitz - and Germany - still hasn't figured out exactly what that reunification has meant for both sides.
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