In this immersive film essay, master documentary filmmaker Thomas Heise dives into four generations of his own family archives to trace the profound cultural and political upheaval of Germany's last century.
Heise's latest, Heimat is a Space in Time, is a monumental work that traces four generations of his family's archives, from the 19th century to the present - their intimate stories revealing the larger cultural and political events that have shaped the past hundred years of German history. The collage of documents in Heise's brilliant essay film include letters and diaries that he reads, in voiceover, to luminous black-and-white images of various German landscapes and spaces. In this immersive work, silences reveal as much as what is said, with fragments drawing attention to what is missing. Heise's family was torn apart only to have subsequent generations coalesce and try to make sense of their remnants. Heimat is a Space in Time spans both world wars, economic collapse, a horrific genocide, and the rise and fall of political ideologies, and it is Heise's focus on the small details of personal experience, the subtlest shifts of light across a landscape, that make for his film's most ...Written by
Toronto International Film Festival
A bittersweet letter, slice of history and life..!
This is a melancholic documentary, and it begins to play in a completely different way. Unlike all the same pov tracing history docs, " Heimat Is a Space in Time" goes into pure poetry, it is slice of history and life. From the point of view of the director, the film traces back on the history of his family through archival memories. He looks back on the events between Berlin and Vienna, from World War I to reunification. The narrative is arranged a little differently and the most important element is the minimalism itself. At the same time, the ease of presentation of the material is coupled with images filled with many symbolism and metaphors that help the narrative flow. It is through the images, looking at everything around through the prism of a past century that we accompany the director and experience all the buzz from the past college years, first love, growing up, world war facts along the bleak and empty territories.
Even though the treatment of this documentary evokes comparison with Claude Lanzmann's Shoah (2014), it still has a special magic of its own. But nevertheless, the documentary does not slip into too much of self-indulgence and it unfolds before our eyes with such a great composure. The last part of the film with 'magic realism' completes this picture about attempts to understand the changing geopolitics, Germany and love for it.
The film turned out to be incredibly beautiful, Rosie's diary segment was bittersweet, and the cinematography was splendid that I could pause it and screen grab it for wallpaper or would do good for an album art of a Black metal band. Overall, I recommend it to those who love arthouse cinema, regular cinephile might find it too long and boring but I will say that it is holds up till the end.
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