Set in the mid-19th century, this latest instalment in the decades-spanning Heimat series from venerable German filmmaker Edgar Reitz chronicles the quests of two Hunsrück families to escape poverty and famine by forging a new life in Brazil.
Home From Home - Chronicle of a Vision
For any cinephile, this is an event. Even for the casual viewer, it counts as a rare opportunity. Edgar Reitz, the filmmaker who so perfectly captured the German soul in his landmark Heimat series, has gone to the foundation of those stories to craft a new feature drama specifically for the big screen.
The original Heimat became such a phenomenon in world cinema because it was both epic and precise. Beginning in 1984, Reitz made four separate long-form films that followed a fictional family in his rural home region, the Hunsrück. The series covered almost 100 years of German social history, from 1919 to the early twenty-first century, through an engaging domestic drama played out against the massive political jolts that rocked that nation, from the rise of and fall of the Nazis, through the division of Germany into East and West, and the crumbling of the Berlin Wall. The entire Heimat project now totals more than fifty-three hours of drama. Reitz's latest is both a summation and a prequel.
Home From Home returns to Reitz's
fictional village of Schabbach. In the mid-
1800s, village life is feudal and brief, with
the airy beauty of the natural landscape
standing in contrast to small-minded
despotism and sudden disease. For those
few who can lift their gaze beyond the next
hillock or harvest, migration offers the only
way out. By setting Home From Home at
the moment when the promise of land and
freedom was luring ambitious Germans to
South America, Reitz dramatizes the conflict
that pushed people to either embrace
the German status quo or reject it — decisions
that would echo down through the
twentieth century. Shot in lush black and
white punctuated by remarkable splashes of
colour, Home From Home introduces a fascinating
origin story to a European classic.