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

Edgar Reitz

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.

Cameron Bailey


Mon Sep 09

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