In my last post, I promised that I would give you a brief overview about the remaining episodes of Heimat, which cover almost 40 years, from the end of the Second World War to 1982. As you can imagine, the structure of these episodes is looser than that of some of the ones we watched recently, and they are also longer. All in all, they most closely resemble the very first episode we watched, which covered the Weimar years.
Now that we’ve wrapped up our screenings of Heimat, I thought you might find it helpful to see the Simon family tree, which can help us remember how all the various characters were related. The image below comes from the book Heimat – Eine deutsche Chronik that Reitz published in 1985, shortly after the first run of his series on German television.
As you can see, there’s a final row of great-grandchildren that appear only in the last three episodes, which we will not watch for our class (I’ll post some capsule summaries of these episodes later in the week).
Posted by Michael
I found the soundtrack from Heimat available on iTunes. I know we’ve all commented on how the music is getting stuck in our heads, is anyone bold enough to stick it on their iPod?
Posted by Connor.
Remember the opening scene of the Heimat mini-series? After the introduction in English with the photo albums, the camera’s attention turned to Paul and was focused on Paul as he returned to his hometown of Schabbach, Germany. After the First World War, the Simon family had finally been reunited. Their beloved soldier Paul was back from the war. Yet it did not seem to be such a joyous occasion. Everyone in the family went about their daily chores. Mathias didn’t really acknowledge Paul as Paul jumped into to help him mend a piece of metal. Wouldn’t you think he’d have been excited/proud that his son had returned home? Eduard went on reading the newspaper with everyone in the room, talking of all the different political events going on in the world. Paul did not seem to care at all that he was home and was blocking everyone out as he dreamed of his comrade who had passed in the war. I know I did not get the sense that this was a very cohesive family unit. Perhaps Reitz was foreshadowing what was to become of the Simon family, a family left in pieces. Did anyone see this coming? Continue reading
As we move into Episodes 3 and 4, Reitz begins to focus more on the changing lives of the individual families in the small village of Schabbach rather than the outside world. Also, as we discussed in class, the outside world, such as the radio and telephone, is increasingly pressing on the village. Not only is technology invading the Hunsruck, but people are moving in such as Lucie and Otto. Lucie, I believe, is an extremely important character and needs to be looked at more in depth.
Posted by EJ:
To follow up on what we discussed in class about the possibility of PTSD from remote locations –
Posted by Michael
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XTGyeGgMpk8 [play this on repeat as you read this post]
Robert Zemeckis’ epic trilogy taught us to importance of recognizing the consequences of our actions and our ability to shape our own future. (If you haven’t seen all three Back to the Future movies, come talk to me so we can plan a movie night) Edgar Reitz’s Heimat includes similar thematic subjects. Linked to the obvious thematic subjects of home and homeland discussed last week, there is also a clear portrayal of the importance of both past and future. The question to each character becomes: which is more important?
I greatly enjoyed our initial discussion of Edgar Reitz’s Heimat series on Tuesday, and have been thinking about it a lot since. When I prepared to lead class that day, I anticipated that we would have to work through some largely formal objections – the slow pacing of the series, the many amateur actors, etc. But clearly I underestimated you, because you rightly identified these characteristics as important elements of Reitz’s style. And while we may not have found a coherent answer for why he would use such a deliberately amateurish style, we’ve already made significant inroads into our analysis of the series, inroads that we will build on next week. Continue reading