Reactions from around the world

Anette Verkerk from Arnhem, the Netherlands
ReindeR Rustema from Amsterdam, the Netherlands
Alan Andres from Boston, the United States
Roemer Lievaart from Amsterdam, the Netherlands
Andrew Blom from Chicago, the United States
Adam Nixon from Cleethorpes, England
Luca Paglieri from Italy, (in Italian)
Michael Willems from Oakville, Ontario, Canada
Edo Avraham from Tel Aviv, Israel
Barry Fogden from Kent, England
Raymond Scholz from Verden, Germany
John Wen from Toronto, Canada
Fredrik Moltu Johnsen from Stockholm , Sweden
DJ Blag from Birmingham, England. Not the DJ Blag from CitriCity!
Robert J Mallows from London, England
Richard Gilzean from Sydney, Australia
John Tibbetts from San Francisco, the United States
Lisa Remmers from Huddersfield, England
Malcolm Acheson from Vienna, Austria
Bert Gorissen from Belgium

Anette Verkerk from Arnhem, the Netherlands:

"It will be awkward to meet the actors for real. After watching Heimat for weeks, all episodes after another, they have practically become relatives. It feels asif they really exist. I actually also saw them more frequent than my own relatives. Usually I am not like this, at best I find a film very beautiful. But after hours, weeks of continuously watching this series the characters come very close. Even my friend, who is usually very down to earth, became extremely addicted. When we were about to watch the last part of series 3 he wondered how life would be without Heimat. That is why we are going to watch everything again this winter. Meanwhile I also received the brochures from the travel agency, we decided we will go there this spring."

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ReindeR Rustema from Amsterdam, the Netherlands:

"When I mention Die Zweite Heimat in conversation the best I get as a reaction is usually something like "yeah, I've seen a bit of it when I was flipping channels once. Looks well done... I didn't have the patience to watch it though... And besides that, it's German." You just have to believe me on my word that it's worth it. At first, being raised as your average Dutch middle class guy, I didn't want to watch it either because it was German (a strange irrationality that a lot of us grow up with). But after having seen it I quite learned to like the language. It has such extremes, it can sound extremely poetic and chanting or melodious at one point but also harsh and barky at another. But these are just details.

I've had two extraordinary experiences after having seen Die Zweite Heimat. Firstly, I felt that I had lost some good friends, as if they have moved abroad for good. It's a bit like the sadness I feel when I finish reading a novel. A novel I have been reading for some time, that I'm really *in* the book so to say. I don't want to miss that extra dimension parallel to my daily life. The book has to end unfortunately. But this was even stronger. For some reason I could identify more intensely with the characters in Die Zweite Heimat than in any novel. The literary qualities of it combined with the sheer length of the film have a lot to do with it. Maybe most of all it's because it's a combination of several art forms pushed to the top: it's literary, a novel, it's a music-piece, it's poetry, it's dance even, it's a beautiful photographic composition... Most of all it's an impressive filmexperience. With a surplus: the seriality. I've seen it on television a few times: first weekly on German television, then weekly on BBC. Finally I watched it with a good friend (close the curtains, have food ready, unplug the phone) when it was broadcast in a marathon session on two Sundays on Dutch television. after that we did a marathon video showing once for friends. And several times, when I lent my DZH tapes to somebody, I could not prevent myself for watching a bit once more...

Secondly, some time after having seen Die Zweite Heimat, short flashes of certain scenes keep coming back at the weirdest moments. Years after the broadcast I accidently found out that somebody I know who has seen Die Zweite Heimat also have had that same experience. Then I started to ask around and it turns out to be a universal symptom... Actually, when I was writing about this in a correspondence with Alan Andres, after we met in the newsgroup, we came up with the idea to start these web pages."

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Alan Andres ,from Boston, the United States:

"the closest world cinema has come to a filmed novel"

"Personally I have seen HEIMAT twice on video and DIE ZWEITE HEIMAT once in a theater and once on video. I have yet to attempt a non-stop marathon viewing. Despite the fact that the aspect ratio of both films is the same as a television screen, do not assume there is little to be gained should you have the opportunity to attend a theatrical screening. When DIE ZWEITE HEIMAT was shown in Boston there were 50 to 60 of us who met every Saturday for six hours a screening. Pretty soon we all noticed familar faces and formed friendships as Hermann and his circle became part of our world. For me this is the closest world cinema has come to a filmed novel, even though this is not an adaptation of a previously existing literary source."

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Roemer , from Amsterdam, the Netherlands:

"the best ever made for television"

"The Dutch encyclopedia of film describes Heimat as: "It classifies as the best ever made for television." And rightfully so. I haven't seen Die Heimat completely yet though. I did see Die Zweite, taped it all, which is "a bit less" (read: magnificent). EVERYBODY *: GO SEE IT!!"

(*=everybody with interests beyond Arnold Schwarzenegger)

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Andrew Blom, from Chicago, the United States:

"It's funny but I just received an email not one week ago from a friend in Parma, and in it he was recalling the circumstance in which we both first heard about Die Zweite Heimat. We had seen posters for it: in Parma, at least, they were advertising it with the title "Heimat 2" and a picture of Helga next to a sprayed portrait of Che' Guevara (9th episode I believe). In retrospect this looks like an ambiguous advertising strategy; as you probably know the Italians are crazy for politics, and among college students there radical politics are perhaps even more popular than in the U.S. and northern Europe. Certainly they are more romanticized. (I've been to parties there in a number of communes that literally had shrines to Guevara --- they called him Il Che' ...) So perhaps it was a smart publicity move in that respect. On the other hand I think it misrepresents the film completely. We had the impression that it was some wild, left-wing and above all _intellectual_ Ungeheuer. I hate Hollywood and I hate Schwarzenegger, but I'm not sure if I don't hate pretentious, political, concept-heavy European cinema just as much. So I had no real interest in seeing it.

"unbelievably beautiful!"

On September 27, 1993, the day of the screening of "Zeit der ersten Lieder," my friend Luigi and I crossed paths with a woman, a teacher of about 50, whom I had met and who had invited me out for coffee a few times, and even given me a copy of Dante. We happened to be standing on a street corner next to one of these posters, and after I made introductions she asked if we were going to go see it. We said that we didn't really know what it was, but she said more or less jokingly that it was going to be a "big intellectual event" and that we should come. As I said she had been extremely generous with me on a number of occasions and so, feeling more or less obligated, I said we'd be there.

Imagine my surprise when I ended up seeing a film that was indeed _about_ intellectuals, characters who were themselves concerned with art and ideas, but a film whose story was told in the most simple, straightforward and honest manner I've ever seen in cinema; and on top of that it was unbelievably beautiful! Despite my poverty I immediately purchased a pass for the entire run --- they showed one episode a week, at 9:00 pm on Mondays, from 9/27 to 12/20.

At this point you really saw the social transformation that Reitz talks about in WORLD CINEMA. In retrospect we couldn't believe how Monday nights had been elevated to moments of such sentimental pleasure. Certainly people congregated outside the cinema and went for drinks, parties, etc. Just to get people out of the theatre took half an hour. Probably the oddest thing was the mix of ages in the audience itself - - obviously you had the students, you had the people who were students in the 60's, and you had a lot in between. The half hour before the film was like a 19th-century opera intermission, with people making the rounds of different groups around the theatre as if they were paying social calls to gallery boxes. And this was just Parma, which, for all its high standing in the world of opera etc. Is still basically a semi provincial town of 200,000. I can hardly imagine how the film must have been received in Rome or Milan.

Perhaps the only criticism I have of the Italian reception of DZH was when Reitz himself came to speak (I don't remember exactly but I think it was before the 6th episode). Certainly not all the audience was like this, but you had to expect that a number of people were there precisely because they regarded the screening as a "big intellectual event"; and so when their chance came to ask Reitz questions about the movie, they were manifestly most interested in putting questions that showed that they had "lived the 60's experience" in one way or another. Most of the questions were absurd and embarrassing. Then the translator they had found was generally less intelligible to the audience than Reitz himself speaking German --- the translator turned "Fellini" into "Federico Fellino," for example; also fairly embarrassing.

"a standing ovation"

Finally, when Reitz had finished and left the stage, a strange thing happened. As the crowd was applauding, a total of about ten people (including myself) got to their feet and gave him a standing ovation. The rest obstinately stayed down. Admittedly, Italy is not home to anything like the ovation-inflation that you have in Holland!, but I couldn't believe that people weren't aware of what an absolutely epic work and epic artist we were here privileged to deal with. That soured me a little on the Italian crowd, as I said. On the other hand one has to give them credit for being basically the only nation on earth that really received DZH at all.

"my ideas about Germany changed dramatically."

Anyway, having once seen Die Zweite Heimat my ideas about Germany changed pretty dramatically. You know very well what kind of impression the Dutch had given me about those awful rotmoffen; and if the American view of Germany is less violent than the Dutch view, it's also sadly much less well informed. Basically the American associations with any kind of German history are limited to two words: Hitler and Holocaust, and that's the perspective I was brought up in. At this point, however, I was quite eager to see Germany, and so in June of 1994 I left Parma for Nuernberg (I had friends there, and since I was always short of cash, Nuernberg seemed a much better choice in the light of its low cost of living. München is so expensive!). This part of the story is only interesting insofar as I was living and working among the same kinds of people I had known in Italy --- even more so, since in Nuernberg I was living (illegally) in a student dormitory; and in ten months of living there, _in Bayern_, I met exactly 1 person who had seen DZH and 2 others who had heard of it ("Edgar Reitz oder was?"). I have no way of explaining this. A prophet is never worse received than in his own country.

At any rate, I'm thankful to be one of the lucky ones who's had an opportunity to see some of Reitz' wonderful work. And I look wildly forward (if the rumors are true) to the advent of Heimat 2000!

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Adam Nixon, from Cleethorpes, England:

"the main reason I'm on the internet"

"'Heimat' and 'Die Zweite Heimat' are almost the main reason I'm on the internet now. I live in the midst of a cultural desert and have never met anyone else apart from my wife who had even bothered to follow the TV installments of the film. Two years ago when she and I first discussed the possibility of purchasing a computer and going on the net, I said 'Yeah, we could see if there's anyone else in the world who we could have a good hard-core discussion about Heimat with!' Well, tonight is my first night on the internet, and you can imagine the joy when (half an hour ago) I find there are 6,000 occurrences of the word according to my web-searcher. It's about three years since saw it now on the BBC. I wish I'd taped it. Schnußchen's tears over no song ever being written for her by the genius Hermann, remains perhaps as the most enduring image for me... And the other genius who settles for the circus as his heimat. I just wish I knew how to work this net so that I can actually get to TALK to someone about Heimat! I'm on but don't be surprised if you can't get through to me - I'm no genius at setting up my computer. (It's been taken care of, RR)

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"I ran out to buy a subscription."

And later, on the DZH-mailinglist, Andrew wrote: "(As I look at the question of favorite episodes I am suddenly reminded much more nearly of my experience with the first one. I went in with low expectations, from which the first two minutes of theme music was already a substantial wake-up call. And while I definitely generally enjoyed what I saw --- the music scene in the cafeteria, every second of Hermann's acquaintance with Juan! --- I remember feeling confused by the whole collaginous impression of it too. I felt as if I was being carried along almost arbitrarily: and then suddenly came the scene with Clemens shaving and the massive, all-ordering realization that his old life had come to an end; a totally new life was under weigh. And pam! the movie ended, like a dream with the alarm clock. Now I remember why I ran out and bought a subscription.)

I tend to be a little canonistic with literature (much more my competence than film), I don't admit things to the "good" category very easily and as such tend especially to be skeptical of modern works, which haven't after all had even the time to be winnowed with the years. Heimat is food for thought as far as this habit is concerned in at least two respects. First of all it surprises me to see that Reitz actually grew out of one of the typical art-movement-constitution- scribbled-on-a-bar-napkin scenes that are so often parodied. That Dadaism was born on the margin of a Grolsch coaster doesn't surprise me. That Heimat was, even distantly, surprises me very much. That there is so much philosophy and principled aesthetics in work that is in appearance so formed with the flow of nature is also a shock. Without wanting to wax too exuberant, I'd say that Reitz is anyway the Shakespeare of my limited cinematic experience. How surprised would I be to hear an interview with Shakespeare full of his ideas on "pity and fear" and "catharsis"?

"Reitz is the Shakespeare of my cinematic experience"

Secondly, it's not a maxim exactly, but it has been a lazy comfort to me in focusing my eye on traditional classics to think that good stuff has survived floating slowly to the top of public opinion, and that it can even be more or less identified in that way as "good stuff." Obviously there are a lot of cases in which that is debatable; on the other hand it's not for example absurd to realize that somebody in 800 B.C. basically brought in and adapted the new "technology" of writing just because the imperative of recording Homer was there and manifest to all; and whether they like him or not, most people know that Homer is one of the best, because that general opinion is alive and out there. Even if nobody actually reads him. There are even some reasonable examples from as recently as the present century. Who reads Proust, or Ulysses? but everyone can name them. Now, with film, which one imagines as having a much wider audience, or at least ability to have its existence recognized, than printed matter (Alan may have a lot more insight into this than I), you would imagine that the same sloppy idea would generally hold water. Good stuff, even if people just know it by name or pay lip homage to it, gets generally recognized as good stuff. Scorsese comes to mind, or Fellini. But DZH is the first instance I've ever seen in which that rule of thumb just breaks down completely. Even in my ignorance of film, I am certain that Reitz is among the best half-dozen filmmakers ever. And nobody knows him, nobody has even just heard of his work. Baffling."

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Luca Paglieri, from Italy (in the newsgroup it.arti.cinema"):

"Ok, mi spiace per voi, ero reticente a iniziare io il discorso su Heimat, ma visto che qualcun altro ha sollevato l'argomento ora non mi trattengo piu'....

Heimat e Heimat 2 (d'ora in poi usero' solo il nome Heimat, per entrambi) compongono una delle pietre miliari della storia del cinema. Credo che chiunque abbia un po' di autorita' in fatto di storia del cinema non possa che confermare questa mia certezza. Quantomeno, conosco diverse persone (intendo qualche decina) che sono state completamente conquistate da Heimat, fino quasi a farlo diventare un tormentone per le persone che ne sentono parlare senza averlo visto. Per certi versi e' un fenomeno analogo all'attaccamento che si prova verso una serie televisiva, o verso una telenovela, MA ATTENZIONE! E' BEN LONTANO DALL'ESSERE UNA COSA DEL GENERE!!!

E' difficile definire Heimat, visto che non e' un film (un film non dura 42 ore), ma allo stesso tempo non e' un'opera televisiva, anche tecnicamente (in questo senso la visione in videocassetta e' un po' limitante, ma ovviamente e' meglio che niente..).

Io lo paragonerei un po' a quei romanzi molto lunghi, leggendo i quali, dopo un po', ti abitui cosi' tanto ai personaggi da inserire le loro vicende passate nel tuo stesso passato. Comunque, voglio subito specificare una delle caratteristiche sorprendenti di Heimat, e non usero' un linguaggio troppo cinematografico per farlo: Heimat, pur durando 16 + 26 ore, NON E' PER NULLA UN MATTONE!

Vi assicuro che io sono uno che puo' andarci pesante coi giudizi, anche sui film d'autore; beh, per quanto strano possa sembrare, per tutto il tempo il film e' molto coinvolgente, molto intenso, e ha un ritmo sempre abbastanza sostenuto (adesso non aspettatevi indiana jones...).

Soprattutto, quello che ci si vede raccontare e' bellissimo, e' difficile spiegare a parole quanto mi e' piaciuto Heimat ... e' bellissimo! guardatelo, e' l'unica... Io ho visto una volta Heimat (in televisione, e' stato trasmesso da rai tre 5 o 6 anni fa, in 13 puntate), e due volte Heimat 2.

Sono pronto a riiniziare domattina..

Per finire, qualche nota su Heimat:
Heimat 1 e' la storia di una famiglia tedesca a partire dall'inizio di questo secolo per arrivare fino agli anni 80. E' stato programmato al cinema, sia in quattro parti di quattro ore ciascuna, sia in un unica proiezione di sedici ore. Personalmente credo che vedersi 4 ore di film filato sia un po' troppo fisicamente stancante (non dico di 16), e spero che esistera' la possibilita' di vederlo in piu' puntate (peraltro il film ha una sua divisione interna).

Heimat 2 (ma il titolo originale e' La seconda patria , heimat in tedesco vuol dire patria, casa.. ) si svolge in un lasso temporale di 10 anni, sviluppando le vicende di uno dei personaggi di Heimat 1. E' diviso in 13 parti, ed e' stato proiettato rispettando questa partizione. Il regista, Reitz, ha fatto alcuni film prima di Heimat, che pero' non hanno ottenuto alcuna attenzione particolare prima del successo di Heimat (il che non toglie di per se che possano essere buoni film). Comunque, per quello che ho visto io (poco), dai suoi precedenti film non si intravedeva il genio di Reitz. Per quanto sembri ridicolo, e' in preparazione Heimat 2000, ma non credo che siano ancora iniziate le riprese, se ne parlera' tra un po' di anni.

Ok, scusate la lunghezza, ora sapete perche' ero restio ad iniziare un thread su Heimat.

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Edo Avraham, Tel Aviv, Israel:

"Hi everyone,

I am Edo, I am 29, a lawyer and I live in Tel Aviv, Israel.

I am not sure how many other Israelis are aware of Heimat or Die Zweite Heimat - there are not many - and I am even not sure how many there are at all who, like us, like these films (and specifically more DZH) enough that they would want to hear from others who like it too.In any case, this is my story.

It begins in 1984, when I saw Heimat in 4 parts at the Tel Aviv Museum. Many people rushed to buy the tickets, and I, who was even then (at the age of 16) a devotee of long films (like anything over four hours...!), made my Mom and sister come along.

My Mom's mother is German, and so, the film was telling a story of times when my Grandma was living in Germany, before the war. And then it was just a very well made saga of a person, family and country as times change.

After 16 hours we felt like we were part of that family there, even though that my German speaking Mom was always complaining about how terrible time she had having to read the subtitles - she could understand so little because of the accent...

The Israeli press was divided between those who thought it was a smart and sophisticated work of art (with at least 4 different explanations as to why the B&W were used here, and color there), and those who found it a revolting piece of German kitsch with a malicious and deliberate screenplay that omits the Holocaust entirely off the German history. I didn't agree with that, and found the insinuations made there as to the war and the Holocaust frank enough.

It was DZH, as Reitz promised when DZH was released, which would deal with the Holocaust much more then Heimat. I still don't understand why DZH hasn't been bought for showing by any TV station here. I hope one of them will pick it up one day...

"I made my way to Tel Aviv to interview "Herman" - Henry Arnold - at a Cafe by the beach."

Anyway, Heimat remained a cinematic triumph for me. Years passed, and in December 1993 I heard of the Die Zweite Heimat, when the announcement of the showing, following a visit by "Herman" (Henry Arnold) and "Ms. Cerphal" (Honolore Hoger), was made in the monthly show schedule of the Jerusalem Cinemateque. I was in my third year of law school, and thought it would be neat to make an extra Shekel by writing something about Cinema matters (my main interest) during my studies. So I contacted a friend of mine who was the editor of the culture pages in a Jerusalem local paper, and offered him to se the movie, and interview the stars... He said "sure, and if it's any good, maybe you can keep on doing that"... I was very pleased to hear that, and went to the screening, as I like to do, knowing nothing of the content of the movie. The only thing I knew is that I had to clear three days in my calendar - a Thursday to Saturday, and sit there for about 8 hours a day, and a bit more on Saturday. Needless to say, the premise was great. I thought "this is going to be my longest movie I have ever seen!". And so it was...

And so I watched, one of maybe 40 other people in the whole of Jerusalem, the whole film, from Thursday to Saturday... Tired, I made my way to Tel Aviv on Sunday, to interview "Herman" - Henry Arnold - at a Cafe by the beach.

He was very nice, and we chatted for about 2 hours. My tape recorder has long ran out of tape, and I continued writing by hand. Then I realized we were just chatting, with subject matters that don't really have any place in the article was about to write (and which was limited to only 1,500 words anyway!).

Arnold is a very nice guy, lived (back then in 1993) in Berlin, had a kid with his girlfriend, and was about to start working in a German TV criminal series of some sort. He was interested to know about Israel, Judaism and what I thought about the issues that are raised in the movie, mainly with Frau Cerphal and Esther. Did you know that Juan's mother was Jewish too?... ;-)

He said that the work was very long, that the shooting was done in a chronological order, as much as possible, and that the team of actors and the technical team became like a big family. He was very impressed by the musical side of the movie, and had to brush up his piano and guitar playing skills. The auditions for almost all parts was a very long process, and Herman's character was one of the last to be filled.

If some ofd the DZH want, I can find the old article, and translate that to you sometime...

For me, the viewing experience was 10 times heightened after talking to Arnold. In a way, I was expecting to meet Herman, and in many ways he WAS Herman... I mean, I have watched him talk, walk, sleep, eat, hug, have sex and play music for many good hours. But Herman did talk in longer, more thought out sentences (especially in his monologues) and did things that Arnold wouldn't do...

"I met Frau Cerphal. I mean, Honolore Hoger."

That same afternoon, I met Frau Cerphal. I mean, Honolore Hoger. We talked briefly in the lobby, a few minutes before she was to leave with the rest of the group to some short trip to Caserea, I think. I remembered her from an excellent TV series that I saw before DZH - "The Bertinis", about a German Jewish family in the '30s, a TV series that was very successful here in Israel. She is actually much more into theater then TV or movies, so she said. She had that dignified look that Cerphal had during the 3rd to 5th parts of the movie... So I seem to remember. Very nice and impressive actress.

But then, the next morning, I had to sit down and write out the article... And the movie was the important issue here, not so much the meeting with the actors. For me, the difference between DZH and the Heimat were clear from the beginning.

For once, the use of color and the B&W thing was now making sense for the first time - B&W for day scenes, color for night scenes, with some very cool exceptions to this rule.

"I was envious of Herman being 17 and having a woman like that as your first love...;-) "

I loved the adult Herman character, a continuation of his character in Heimat in the 1950's episode, perhaps the best episode in the entire Heimat movie [it's the most sexual part, I loved the women playing Klarchen, and I felt exactly what they were going through. Besides, obviously I was envious of Herman being 17 and having a woman like that as your first love...;-) ].

The DZH Herman was what I thought he would like like a few years later, and not that bearded man that Reitz put in as Herman in the Heimat's 1970's episodes, who was too short in height and annoying to be playing the role of the good hearted (generally speaking) Herman. DZH is filled with such enigmatic characters in the center of the first episodes, and I think that what makes the first 5 episodes so much fun to watch - cute Herman, the amazing Klarisa, the mysterious Juan, and then the other characters that we would learn more about as the film unfolds. Fuchsbau serves as a home to this human tragic-comedy or comic-tragedy, in a way that some houses serve as a home to some favorite shows and movies of ours - from "The Big Chill" to "Friends". There is something about that feeling when young people spend a good and serious time, that we, the people who spend most of their lives outside such a supportive and uplifting environment, feel only craving to be part of that "family". As the movie goes on, the group falls apart and the Fuchsbau is demolished, it becomes a series of personal episodes. They are much less with a group feeling, and they deal more with what some of my friends and I go through these days - at the age of 25-33 or so, when you look back and wonder if you did all you expected of yourself, and look a head and see how the marriage, house, kids and morgage is about to "fall" on you. You are forced to be matured, and you view your life with your lover/spouse with a critical eye - have I done the right choice?

If you are not married yet, you start to wonder - who will I marry then? You find yourself less and less go out with people for fun. And you know that people, namely your parents, put expectations on you now, perhaps more than ever...

"two less appealing things about the film"

One friend of mine did point out two things about the film that he found less appealing, and I tend to agree with her: that Reitz move from one character to another, mostly never filling the gaps of what happened to the others while al this has happened. That way we are left with some huge gaps in the development of the characters.

The second thing she pointed out was, that she finds it hard to believe, that in such artistic group of people there was not a single gay person... Statistically, she says and I agree, that's impossible... :=)

DZH was never a big success, and it has a few obstacles to pass to make it here as it may have in other countries: not only is it long, it tells it's story of artists with terrible uncommunicative art, and it is set in Germany, and it speakes German. The last two facts are the hardset one to overpass, in a country where most people "have a problem" with Germany, the German language or even just "germans". That will change, I am sure, but it will take time. The '60s did not mark an end to the coping with the past, as seen in DZH.

"I hope that Reitz will make one day or another Die Dritte Heimat..."

As there two more episodes left (I watch the movie again on 3SAT on German TV every Sunday night), I will feel again left out when such beautiful people will leave my life again...

What can I say, but to hope that Reitz will make one day or another (even though he announced he wouldn't) Die Dritte Heimat...

I will always take with me the slow camera moves, the eccentric music pieces, the smart dialogues, the scenery of München and the meaning of existence in a time of growing up as a mature human being for those friends of mine from Die Zweite Heimat."

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Michael Willems, from Oakville, Ontario, Canada:

"I deliberately did not read the other reviews here, as my experience will probably differ from those of the others, just like each person's life, while lived in the vicinity of others, is utterly unique.

"changed my life and help me make sense of it"

For me, Zweite Heimat was one of those rare experiences that changed my life, and even better, that help me make sense of it. Friendship, love, and the terrible mistakes of growing up: we have all done it, off course. Reitz understands the human condition like no director I have ever seen! If only I could have seen Zweite Heimat when I myself was a bohemian student... but then, I would have been the cast, not the audience. Now, through Zweite Heimat, I almost feel like I have grown up twice."

"The 'aha-erlebnis' is enormous"

And later on the dzh-list:

"Hello DZH-list members!

Even in Canada, TV (TVO, TV Ontario) is now showing DZH (in 13 weekly movies). So boy, was I ever glad to find the DZH site! I did the usual thing, fire up Alta Vista, but it took a lot of clever searching to find this site. On the way I found some other reviews and mentions, all very complimentary, but no-one was as comprehensive as this site. (So, "Juan" is an all-round renaissance man in real life, too)... what a lot of excellent supporting detail.

I first saw DZH in Holland, when I was living there, in an all-weekend sitting. I don't think I even went to the bathroom that weekend, as it were- what a riveting sledgehammer (Ouch: forgive the mixed metaphor!). This movie has affected me like no other movie ever has (Although the 1970's BBC production of "I Claudius" comes a close second).

What is so special about DZH? Well, for a start, throughout the 26 or so hours, I constantly think "That's me and my friends"!! Reitz understands growing up so well - haven't we all made the mistakes Hermann, Clarissa and friends make? Haven't we all been up till dawn discussing philosophy? And had friendships as deep as the ones in DZH? And all fallen in love simultaneously with the same girl? So for one thing, DZH reminds me of my own growing up, as a student in London in the 70's. The "aha-erlebnis" is enormous: all the time I am sitting there, remembering the way I grew up.

"a sort of second growing up, compressed into 26 hours"

But there is more. Reitz's persons are so *real*. Reitz obviously likes people, quirks and all. Hermann's love for Clarissa is so real, you can't help but fall in love with her yourself. At the end of Zweite Heimat, you feel like these are your friends, and you almost feel like crying for lost youth, as friends drift apart, youthful optimism vanishes, and good things end. (Does that make me a cynic, at 40?)

But that, too, is growing up. For me, DZH has been a sort of second growing up, compressed into 26 hours. And I think that's as much as any art form ever can hope to achieve."

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Barry Fogden, from Sevenoaks, Kent, England:

"I had recorded HEIMAT when it was first shown in England, and watched it many times. It chimed in with many of my own interests -- for example, European history, and the translatability of culture, as well as more second-order artistic concerns like the handling of narrative flow and the meeting of vision and the mechanics of film-making (of which I am largely ignorant) -- and was easily the most impressive piece of television drama I had seen.

So I was prepared for DIE ZWEITE HEIMAT to be good, but also ready to be disappointed, to say, OK, it's still pretty good, but not *so* good. It turned out to be far, far better than I had expected. It has become the yardstick against which all other screened drama has to be measured.

"All human life is there"

One of our sleazier Sunday newspapers used to advertise its wares with the slogan "All human life is there". It wasn't, and it isn't in DIE ZWEITE HEIMAT either -- the grinding poverty of the means streets is not directly handled, for example, or the machinations of the markets or the political process -- but for the educated post-war generations Reitz has brought in and exposed all the main concerns, while placing the events firmly in their historical context. The drama unfolds through the way the characters live their lives, and while ideologies are plainly there, the film itself eschews ideology and in doing so leaves it far behind and arrives at a truer perspective on the issues that really matter to (if I may use the word) us.

"It looks bloody marvellous!"

Also, it is extremely culturally literate, rich in allusion itself, and enriching our experience of the way it tells its story. There is not a single wrong note in the script, not a moment of the embarrassment that comes when we see through the artifice of a piece of drama and are made uncomfortable by our own acquiescence in its inferiority. That is a flash way of saying that nearly all films are dumbed down and dumb us down, and this one never is or does. OK, there are things one could criticise -- for instance, Helga's progress from sexual frustration and disgust with her provincial family, through intellectual alienation to Baader-Meinhoff terrorism is perhaps too linear, too pat -- but they are so few when compared with most other productions as to be negligible.

Finally -- I almost forgot to mention -- it looks bloody marvellous!"

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Raymond Scholz, from Verden, Germany:

"I'm a 22 year old student of computer science (in Bremen, Germany). Actually I live in Verden, a small town with 25.000 inhabitants near Bremen. So, far away from scenes of DZH, but able to understand the Hunsruecker and Bavarian dialect properly (of course there are no captions in the original version).

So back to DZH. First time I got in touch with this masterpiece was in 1993 when the TV station Arte broadcasted DZH. I was 18 then and my mother happened to find the first (what a luck) episode while switching through the channels. I only missed the first 10 minutes of this episode, which are quite important, as you know. But nevertheless this really caught me! Not knowing much about classic / modern music or literature, the wild sixties (I was born in 1975) or anything else mentioned in this movie, it was exciting anyway. This shows to me, that Reitz understands to address a movie to people with different interests or preferences, providing an own experience for every viewer. I was fascinated by the patience, with which Reitz introduced and traced the characters and by the life they had. But I didn't watch it with the amount of intensity I brought up this year.

"Soon the 'family effect' hit me."

In early 1997 3SAT broadcasted Heimat and then Die Zweite Heimat. I was curious about Heimat and about the connection between it and DZH. Soon the "family effect" (the reaction page is full of it) hit me. Every Monday morning (standing under the shower) I was thinking about Maria, Otto, Paul, Anton, Ernst, Eduard and all the others. They became members of my family (or the other way round?). Normally I'm not interested in family chronicles or extensive historical excercises but this was different. I never followed a TV series this intensive before, and probably will never do in the future. I was overcome by a feeling of sadness when the last episode ("Das Fest der Lebenden und der Toten") ended. But the sun rose again... DZH.

With the knowledge of Heimat, DZH was a totally different experience than watching it in 1993 for the first time. I think knowing Heimat is not necessary to think of DZH as a wonderful piece of cinematic art on TV but to understand Hermann's very special relation to women and love in general. Some things really impressed me, I don't want to name them one by one because most of them can be found at the "reactions page" on the DZH home page. To illustrate my attention on DZH, I should tell you that I finally got a reason to buy a VCR (too late to record the episodes... waiting for the next broadcast). Also I was indescribably angry as two thunderstorms broke the local cable net and I missed the half of "Kennedys Kinder" und "Weihnachtswoelfe".

It was also impressing to me, that Reitz made Heimat and DZH with only a few well known German actors. Today it seems to be a criteria for a good movie in Germany to assemble some TV-stars. So Heimat with many amateur actors and DZH with professional musicians is different. Of course, there are some better known actors: Gudrun Landgrebe (Klaerchen), Michael Kausch (Ernst), Anke Sevenich (Schnuesschen), Hannlore Hoger (Elisabeth Cerphal), Veronica Ferres (Dorli). But actors you've never seen before on TV, seem to be more credible in their roles (if they are good, and they definitely WERE good).

There are actually not too many people in Germany who know DZH or Edgar Reitz, so it is hard to share enthusiasm about it with others. This may be connected with the general problem of intellectual, demanding (IMHO, DZH is so) movies in Germany. They are only accessible to few, commercial TV stations avoid them and finally Germany treats its real geniuses as if they were meditative lunatics, criticizing their work to death. I hope this destiny will pass Edgar Reitz.

So this is what I think about Heimat and DZH. I could talk hours of it, but I often run out of words...

Some other things:

One week after the last episode of DZH 3sat broadcasted a discussion about Heimat and DZH with Reitz, a film critic, another director, an author and a moderator. The broadcast was called "Weggehen um anzukommen" (leave to arrive) and the discussion point should be the motif of Heimat and DZH. It was VERY intellectual (wonder how many viewers could have watched this to the end) and the discussion soon drifted away...

At the end Reitz confirmed his intention to "close the circle", i.e. he admitted that he has been working on a third part of Heimat since the end of the shooting for DZH! He said, that the whole project was to be thought as a trilogy, beginning in 1900 with the birth of Paul Simon and ending somehow at the turn of the century in the year 2000. He was talking of parallel plots around the world (remember Heimat located in one village, DZH in a big city, and now DDH (Die Dritte Heimat??) in the whole world?). Interesting, of course, but dangerous too. I hope Reitz can keep his standard and does not disappoint me."

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John Wen, from Toronto, Canada:

"I know I'm shouldn't even contemplate writing in at this crazed time at work, but the DZH haunts me. I'm watching it for the second time on TVO (July, August, Sept. 1997) and it seems more relevant now than ever before.

When I first watched DZH two years ago, I was still living in heady times. Having just returned from a year in France and full of artistic, creative energy, I saw much of myself in many of the characters. I identifed immediately with the narcissism of youth, though I was too full of myself to realize.

"This second viewing probes much deeper."

I'm paying stricter attention to Edgar Reitz's broad themes and microcosmic worlds. The issue of identity, place in the world and unanswered pasts haunt me more deeply as I try to come to grips with the people and events in my life. The dissipating circle of friends and the sadness that prevails towards the end rings too true.

I'm also fascinated by Reitz's take on the 1960s: an alternative to the dominant Americentric one. Having been born only 10 days after Kennedy was assassinated I have been unable to fathom the event's influence on the world's collective psyche. Kennedy seems more than the mythic character we see and hear in the American media (and all its concomitant gaudiness). The darkly humourous yet banal fact is that those who do remember what they were doing when it was announced that JFK had been killed were probably at the supermarket or watering the lawn.

I missed episode 10 last week and wonder if anyone taped it. I'd be happy to send a tape and pay for transportation. (I know, I know, copyrights etc.)

Thank you to ReindeR Rustema and Alan Andres for putting on the DZH website. I didn't know that Heimat existed. For anyone in Metro Toronto interested in seeing Heimat, I will approach TVO and/or the Goethe Institute for a showing."

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Fredrik Moltu Johnsen, from Stockholm, Sweden:

"I am Norwegian, 23 years of age. I am living in Stockholm, Sweden, where I'm studying chemical engineering.

I saw Die Zweite Heimat in two-hour episodes broadcast on Norwegian television some 5 years ago. It is without any shadow of doubt the greatest "movie" I have ever seen. I remember shaking my head in disbelief of the greatness of it after every episode.

"I remember shaking my head in disbelief of the greatness of it"

I haven't seen it since, and I think that I may have missed one or two episodes of it. My local cinema club showed it over two days in autumn 1995, but unfortunately it collided with the once-in-a-lifetime (?) experience of being able to see my football team Brann playing in the Norwegian cup finals...

Having seen DZH when I was 18 years old, I considered it to be more or less describing my life the next 10 years. How wrong could one be? The 90s are obviously something completely different than the 60s. Thinking is not trendy.

I have not yet seen Heimat 1, but I will seize any opportunity to do so. Only another cup final can stop me :). "

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DJ Blag from Birmingham, England:

"At 25 I am nearly Thomas' age, but I was not allowed by my parents to watch Heimat before my teens. Mind you, I was brought up in Wembley, NW London, where I do not think we can match the liberalism of the Scands! Frankly though, I would have been very embarrassed to have watched Hermann's three-in-a-bed romp then whilst my parents were around.

My parents watched Heimat, no doubt recommended by The Guardian newspaper, when it was first shown on British tv. This was April 1986. When it was repeated for the first time in June 1988, they suggested that I saw it. My parents are not often wrong and I was enthralled. For someone who hates soap operas this was almost like a soap opera tailor-made for the middle classes (although I am not being exclusive here). A story full of truth AND imagination, beautifully shot and acted superbly.

"almost like a soap opera tailor-made for the middle classes"

It was Summer; I was fourteen, so my friends were puzzled that I should want to cut short evenings out to watch tv (we did not have a video). Inevitably, due to a holiday abroad and so on, I missed a couple of episodes, but I still loved it.

I have been a very political person since the age of nine, when I remember raging at Thatcher and her Falklands War on the tv. I had an SDP/Liberal Alliance leaflet on my bedroom wall for the 1983 General Election! I am Jewish, with roots somewhere in Central/East Europe, yet I learned, from a distance, to appreciate the West German political/economic system and to some extent, way of life. Heimat helped to provide some sort of explanation for this apparent dichotomy.

I shared, with most of the people who have come to this site, an intense feeling when watching Heimat, so imagine my family's delight at finding out that DZH was going to be screened. By that time we had a video, which should have made things easier, but somehow did not, so I am missing parts of DZH from my memory.

It was preceded on BBC2 by another showing of Heimat (January 1993 onwards), which I watched again. The documentary mentioned on the website was screened and in July 1993 we got our first sight of DZH.

Unlike most people who seem to contribute to this website, I did not enjoy it as much as Heimat. Perhaps because even at 19, I did not understand all the cultural references, some of which I might do now. In Heimat, there was also the issue of how the Holocaust crept up on ordinary Germans, touched their lives and left its mark, which was of particular interest to me. I do not consider myself a great intellect, so I probably found Heimat an easier tale to follow as well.

I love black music from blues through to nu classic soul, however DZH was my first exposure to modern classical music (probably my first lengthy exposure to any clasical music) and I found myself enjoying the challenge. Last month, I received the Heimat box set, but I do agree with the website review that it is missing many great pieces.

"my first exposure to modern classical music"

I had to laugh when I read the experiences of Adam Nixon from Cleethorpes, who spoke of it as a cultural desert. I can believe it, although if you are into black music, there is a man called Steve Potts in nearby Louth who sells some great stuff!

Like Adam, for a long time I did not know of anyone beyond family who had seen either Heimat. The first outsider I met who knew of the saga was a student of German who had to watch it for his course and he hated it! Even when I spoke of it to my German (now ex) girlfriend and her friends, although they are all pretty cultured, they either did not know it or talked very dismissively about the films. What was that phrase about a prophet in his own land...?

"for a long time I did not know of anyone who had seen either Heimat."

However, I met a French man who lives in Birmingham, where I am now, who also felt passionately about Heimat. Is it merely coincidence that we have both dated German women since watching it?!

I was naturally 'over the moon' to find the Heimat site a couple of months ago while searching for Nikos Mamangakis' soundtrack. I would add that I was pleased to read an Israeli had enjoyed Heimat too.

Looking forward to the repeat screening of DZH on BBC2 some time later this year - hopefully I will be able to tape the lot. Which reminds me - anyone out there who could get me Heimat 1 for VHS with English subtitles? I pray that Heimat 2000 will be of as high a standard as the previous two.


DJ Blag"

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Robert J Mallows, London, England:

"I came across Edgar Reitz's Die Zweite Heimat in the same way I found this web site - serendipity.

I guess like many British readers, I first saw DZH during the BBC's transmission of the film in 1993. The memories of the process and enjoyment of the film back then are unclear, but I do remember that as the numbers of videos I was using increased (to a total of seven), I knew I was recording something special, without knowing exactly what it was. I knew nothing of Reitz, his movies, and had only a feint memory of the first Heimat.

"understanding and appreciation of German culture"

As someone who is learning the German language, this has nurtured a growing understanding and appreciation of German culture, history...perhaps even the German soul. But what thoughts and ideas I had before seeing DZH were unrefined and a little hit and miss. What I think DZH gave to me was a filmic jolt. It is one of the few films that has truly moved me spiritually and intellectually.

"truly moved me spiritually and intellectually"

I have, on and off, watched DZH now about four times in total; it has become something which I watch now once a year and which, though comfortable like a favourite pair of shoes, still offers up something new with each viewing.

As someone brought up on Star Wars, Ealing Comedies and the "traditional" formulaic approach to films and storytelling, it is the uniqueness of DZH that attracts me. It is the only film I can recall watching that really stirs emotions strong enough to leave a lasting impression. When you find yourself thinking about the film on the train, that's a sure sign it's hit home.

I think in many respects it is a sort of cipher, a mirror on my own personality. Each of the main characters expresses emotions, problems (neuroses) with which I can identify; in the same way, the challenges which life presents for Hermann and his friends are universal. As one review erput it, it is a "recollection of feelings". 'Sehnsucht' is the word which runs throughout the body of the film, and - in the same way that Heimat can encapsulate the whole meaning of German existence in one word - it embodies more than simply "desire".

It would be trite, given the immense nature of the film's story telling theme, to reduce the film down to the characters alone, but certain characters really strike home whenever I recall it. The character of Juan always perplexes me. I know his character is a particular dramatis personae, but his role is not clear to me. As the one real auslander among the group of young Germans, I guess his role is to provide a counterfoil, I don't know. Nevertheless, the character is full of a humility and warmth and a gentleness which works in contrast to the bombasticity and angst of some of the other main characters. Juan is certainly the most rewarding character in the whole series. On a more basic level, the DZH women have to be some of the most dramatically beautiful in film, particularly that of Schnüsschen!

In considering what the film means to me, the following emotions and reactions jump into my consciousness: beauty, passion, eroticism, regret. Indeed, it is the broad sweep of emotions in the film that get me; some of the subtler sub-texts of the stories I am sure I miss or do not understand, but to me that is not so important as an understanding of the broad themes. As the word Heimat expresses so many conceptions and ideas in a single (untranslatable?) word, so DZH reflects so many aspects of life as to make it still difficult to corral my thoughts in a document like this.

"numerous levels I have yet to explore "

I'm sure that there are numerous levels of the film that I have yet to explore - such as the filmography, musical imagery, textual and semiotic - but maybe I don't want to journey down those paths. I take the film as it comes, and let it do the storytelling. Kaleidoscopic is probably the best adjective I can think of to address the immensity of the film

Curiously, my enjoyment of DZH is prefaced by only a scant understanding and recollection of Heimat itself. I know I have seen it; indeed, I can recall short, snatched images (Hermann being taught to kiss by, is it Schnusschen?) which has increased my yearning to see the first opus in its entirety. There is a deep frustration, matched with anticipation that, when I see the film again, the subconscious reactions to the first viewing will be resurrected and re-thought. As I have a great deal of academic experience in studying the Third Reich, I am also interested in seeing again Reitz's interpretation of this dark period of German history.

As yet, I have not done so (my local Goethe Institut does not have a copy, but does have one of DZH). If there are any contributors to this site in the UK who have a copy of video(s), that I could borrow/purchase, then do please get in touch with me at

Edgar Reitz's is a fascinating world to explore and understand. Forget Start Wars: The Phantom Menace, I can't wait for the final part of the Heimat Trilogy! Good luck to everyone with the future of this site."

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Richard Gilzean, Sidney, Australia:

"It has been six years since I first became familiar with Heimat and Die Zweite Heimat. Normally a significant time lag such as this would seriously hamper my recollections of all but the most significant and personal events in my life; you know, those events which each of one us deem to be 'special'. The first time you went 'all the way', or when your father gave you the keys to the car, or when you left the family home, or (you fill in the blank). Added to this the fact that I could not even understand what they were saying and yet, I knew, by the conviction of my ongoing attachment to this saga "Made in Germany", that I was privy to a landmark cultural event.

So there I was in 1993, sharing an apartment in München with, Marion, my Bavarian girlfriend (now wife); in love and trying to decide if I could live forever in such a beautiful city. Where men in Lederhosen walked to work, bicycles were as numerous as motor cars and the locals ate boiled white sausages. During the day I was enrolled in German language studies at the Universität für Auslander; the only Australian in a multicultural mix of Italians, Russians, Hungarians, Koreans and what have you. A class full of people who, for various reasons, had left their own homeland in the expectation that this new country would offer them a new beginning. At night, after I had finished my Hausaufgabe, I would prop myself on a pillow and be transfixed by the unfolding story of the Simons and the villagers of Schwabach.

The images of Heimat were how the story came to speak to me. I was not equipped to understand what the characters were saying. Much of the finer detail and plot points was lost on me, but that did not really detract me from my appreciation of the story which slowly unfolded - moving in and out of the characters lives like sheaves of long grass in an open field held under the sway of the breeze.

"How could I help but not be hooked"

Die Zweite Heimat was shown a week or two after the final episode of Heimat. The story had moved from the Hunsrück to 'Der Stadt von einen millionen Dorfer'. And there I was, this transplanted Aussie with dreams of becoming a filmmaker. How could I help but not be hooked. By now Marion had become enthralled with DZH and so I had a ready translator to help explain the finer points. As much I was entertained by the story of Hermann and his friends, it was again the images, which left their mark on my memory. Many of the black and white shots were of the Munich cityscape and depicted structures with long cast shadows. After the series ended, I decided to pay homage to this city and these images (1, 2, 3, 4). In my spare time, I would jump on my bike and ride around the city, looking for shadow-casting structures and the spirit of the city. I am now left with a love for

"Munich - meiner zweite Heimat"

an interest in experimental film and music and renewed faith in the power of storytelling."

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John Tibbetts, USA:

I was born in Northampton, Massachusetts to a German mother and an American father. They were a bad match as she was from an aristocratic family and he a redneck. They divorced and I grew up in the Black Forest, Tübingen, and then the Ruhrgebiet and returned to the US at age 14. I have been here eversince.

I think of myself as an odd mix of a German and Yankee: Although I speak with an accent I feel American otherwise. I dream in German. I will never forget discovering New German Cinema. (The first film was Wenders’ ‘Alice in the Cities.’) I have been wanting to make films eversince; I just couldn’t believe that others expressed so much pain so beautifully.

Coming across ‘Heimat’ and ‘Die Zweite Heimat’ has had a profound impact on my life. I relate to these films because of my own neverending search for my heimat; my second heimat would be the U.S., I suppose. I have always been fascinated w/ the Sixties – I felt validated and liberated to see Reitz put the decade in such fascinating perspective. Both films have put excessive, discombobulated feelings in order for me.

"I have been wanting to make films eversince"

It is hard for me to go on about what I loved about the films; there is just too much. Thus the only part I had problems with:

I found Reitz’s depiction of the late sixties a little disturbing. I find that there was probably less of a gap between the college crowd and working people here; maybe because of the direct threat of being drafted and the unified understanding that the Vietnam War had to come to an end. There also seems to have been something joyful about drug use here; in the Second Heimat it all seemed just plain depressing. This might have to do with the Jazz scene as well: The kind of “cool” emulated by Parker, Coltrane, Davis, etc. is something somewhat foreign to Germans. Hermann says at one point that he thinks the Beatles are ahead of them in many ways; I wish Reitz had elaborated on that more.

I am still feeling somewhat blissful after watching a total of 42 hours – I wanted even more. I am excited about the ‘Dritte Heimat.’

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Lisa Remmer, UK:

I am a new subscriber to the list. As I understand it, this is about personal experiences of Heimat and DZH.

I have not seen DZH, but have been enjoying Heimat for the last seven years (about).

I just watched it again, and still love it.

My connection I suppose comes from my own background. I believe my great grandfather was German, and he lived in the UK. At the commencement of WW1, he was sent back to Germany and was never seen again. So there was a small connection with Germany for me, even though I am unsure of all the facts.

I visited Germany for the first time at the age of 16, and I thought it was the most beautiful place. I cried when I had to leave, and that memory lives with me. When I was introduced to Heimat, I had no idea what it would be like, but I watched the whole thing from beginning to end, without stopping. Life was going on around me, but I felt as though I had come home.

And now, as another 'life crisis' ensues, I find myself needing to visit Heimat again. I needed to feel the comfort I get from those people. I feel as though in some way they are my own family, and in the last episode I feel the same loss at the death of Maria as I would if I had known her myself.

But mostly I relive the awakening of Hermanchen, and feel the same sense of tragic loss at the departure of Klaerchen, each time I watch it. This is my favourite film of the series, it awakens feelings from my own youth, and always leaves me with a sense of longing. This is when Herman loses his home - in his heart - and is still looking for a new one. As am I, I suppose.

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Malcolm Acheson, Austria:

The Shaggy Dog Story: I was Googling for reviews of Schoenberg's Gurrelieder. I mistyped the title as Gurrelider - and got only three hits: one of which was for "your" Heimat site. (I think you can now pinpoint the Suggestion.) I saw almost all of 6 or 7 of the Heimat I episodes when they were first re-broadcast on the BBC (in the late 80's?). (I lived in London at the time.) What struck me most was by the time the title music came on at the end, one had almost disappeared inside of all of these lives. Parts of what I had not seen I then saw when Heimat I was again re-broadcast immediately prior to the broadcast of Heimat II. (I only acquired a VCR [second hand] about half way through Heimat II, and never worked out how to do timed recording after the series was over.) At the time of seeing "II", it had a much more superficial impact on me than "I". (I thought that Hermann-Clarissa was far too awkwardly handled, and that the actress who played Schnüsschen was so (relatively) old that she destroyed a lot of the "suspension of disbelief" that is necessary to capture an atmosphere. On the other hand, over time, it was scenes from "II" that kept on surfacing from my memory. Now I am living in Vienna, I have made the SUBSTANTIAL outlay of buying the PAL series. Each night I watch a few minutes. So, it is a very curious coincidence to stumble across "your" site.

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Bert Gorissen, Belgium:

I saw the first 10 parts on my computer screen. I felt a great relief and a great happiness coming over me while I was watching. Yes, it was time for a story 'Made in Germany'. I always had this bad feeling about this endless stream of aglo-saxon movies about WW2 which are nearly always biased, unfair, humiliating, cheap propaganda, creating misunderstanding, fuelling even hatred. I always felt it was very unfair. Finally they can come to peace with their history and be proud again of their heimat. Bert Gorissen, just a Belgian neighbour...

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Add your reaction

If you would like to have your experience with DZH added to this page please send it in. Did you see it on television? Video? A film festival? When? Where? With whom? Why?

If you know somebody who would like to write his experience but is not connected to the internet, he or she can send it by postal mail to: ReindeR Rustema, Van Oldenbarneveldtstraat 40-2, 1052 KC Amsterdam, the Netherlands. After it's been added he or she will receive a printed copy of this webpage by "snail-mail".

If you're not a native English speaker, feel free to write it in your own language. Most people like to read in their own language after all.

The Heimat 1, 2, 3 website is a joint effort by ReindeR Rustema, Alan Andres and many others. Back to the main page.