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
Not as emotionally strong as the previous Heimat cycles, but still a compelling conclusion
Heimat: A Chronicle of Germany (1984), the first entry in Edgar Reitz's trilogy (although at the time he had no idea that was gonna happen), did not need a sequel. The Second Heimat: Chronicle of a Youth (1992), on the other hand, demanded one, because of its brilliant, ironic epilogue: having finally made love to Clarissa Lichtblau (Salome Kammer), Hermann Simon (Henry Arnold) realized he couldn't keep running away for ever and decided to return to Schabbach after a decade-long absence. During those ten years he'd been through a lot (including a failed marriage), yet when he came home his old friend Glasisch (Kurt Wagner), the village fool and narrator of the first Heimat series, greeted him by saying: "You haven't changed at all, little Hermann". Such a conclusion almost screams "Go on with the story, please", and with Heimat 3: Chronicle of a Turning Point, he returns to familiar ground for the third and last time.
The story begins in November 1989, in Berlin, where Hermann is busy with a concert. During the night, he learns of the destruction of the wall that had been separating the two parts of Germany, and while trying to find out more he runs into Clarissa, 29 years after the night they spent together in Amsterdam. The two decide to settle down and buy a house in the countryside. Coincidentally, said building isn't that far away from Schabbach, where Hermann's brothers Anton and Ernst have to deal with some problems, which will affect the whole community, as well as Hermann's life too.
As with the previous Heimat entries, Reitz handles the project incredibly well from a technical point of view, with beautiful cinematography (though there are less black and white segments this time), controlled editing and great music. In terms of plot and character development, though, Heimat 3 isn't as flawless as its predecessors. It may have to do with the fact that covering a ten-year period (1989-1999) in only six episodes isn't an easy task. There are huge chronological gaps between events, meaning that after the superbly executed first episode, the series'quality shifts: some people (mostly those the audience will relate to, like Russian immigrant Galina or East Berlin-based construction worker Gunnar) disappear inexplicably, while others come out of nowhere. The characters we're left with are largely annoying (Anton's son Hartmut and particularly Hermann's daughter Lulu), and it looks like the director's lost his interest in the leading couple as well (except for the eerie, Kubrick-inspired concert sequences). Fortunately, he redeems himself with the stunning final chapter (aptly titled Farewell to Schabbach), a touching and, in pure Heimat tradition, ambiguous goodbye to a universe that has struck and moved lovers of film and television alike throughout the years.
On the whole, an underachievement compared to Heimat 1 and 2 (blame the dodgy middle section for that), but worth seeing as a completion of Reitz's powerful German saga.
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