New vs. Old: The Battle for Schabbach

By Bobby

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.

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PTSD from Remote Locations

Posted by EJ:

To follow up on what we discussed in class about the possibility of PTSD from remote locations –


Tonight’s screening of Heimat will once again begin at 7:30 pm in 117 De Bartolo.  In episodes 3 and 4, “The Best Christmas Ever” and “The Imperial Highway,” we will be exploring everyday life under the Nazi regime during the 1930’s.  There will be cake!
I know that several of you have sent me emails during my absence, but I won’t get around to answering them until tomorrow.  If it’s anything urgent, talk to me before or after tonight’s screening.  However, as far as class meeting times and attendance policies are concerned, I refer you to the requisite documentation on this blog.  The information is all readily available.

Back to the Future

Posted by Michael [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?

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Attention: In order to make the Heimat screenings accessible to as many people as possible, I’ve moved our time slot up by half an hour.  So from now on, the episodes will be shown in 117 De Bartolo from 7:30 to 9:30 pm on Mondays.  I’ll see you this Monday for episode two, “The Center of the World.”

Hannah: A woman trying to live in a man’s world

Posted by: Kristi

Gabriel plays little role in Hannah’s day-to-day life, yet his character creates a large impact on her life. She changes her life for him, and adapts her desires sometimes in combination with his. Hannah, I think, is the only woman who desires change in this novel. Men, often want change or change themselves to match other men in the Company. The common occurrences of copying in this novel seem strange to me because they’re all in a new land, yet they still choose to all be exactly the same. Continue reading

A Sense of Belonging

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


Reminder: We’ll have our first Heimat screening tonight from 8-10 pm in De Bartolo 117.  If you can’t make it, you’ll need to watch episode one on your own time prior to tomorrow’s class.
There will be no student-generated blog post for Tuesday, though I will put something up later in the week so that you may continue your discussion of Reitz’s TV series.  Kristi will post about Holder of the World for our Thursday meeting.

Why Hannah?

Posted by Christina.

Beigh Masters has “devoted eleven years” to the study “of a [single] person”—Hannah Easton Fitch Legge, an interesting but relatively obscure woman dead for three centuries (138). Hannah began as a footnote to Beigh’s search for the elusive Emperor’s Tear, but quickly became her main obsession.

Hannah predicted that “her life would reside in other people’s stories” (199).  Beigh is both a captive audience and compiler of them.  Although they are distantly related, something beyond blood motivates Beigh to assume the task of learning Hannah’s history and perpetuating her memory.  Perhaps, just as Hannah was captivated by the new, “brilliantly hued world[s]” she found herself in, Beigh admiringly views Hannah’s life as a “richer life” than her own (171, 222). Continue reading


Microsoft Exchange is back up, so you can now reach me by email again.  Of course, my office doors are always open to you as well!

The location for our film screenings, which will commence on Monday at 8 pm, will be De Bartolo 117.