I won't write a long panegyric here: I can just say that if you liked the other "Heimat" installments, you will like this "prequel" as well. And if, like many viewers, you watched the previous films with an almost religious devotion, you will feel the same way about this one (actually, two).
Somehow Reitz has found the secret of putting his viewers deeply into the situation to the point where you really do feel "you are there" -- and he can do this whether the setting is contemporary, early 20th century or, as here, in the 1840's.
The first installment is admittedly a little long, but there is ample payback in the second, which seeing the first is necessary in order to set up the situation.
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