Monday, March 9, 2020

Heimat is a Space in Time (2019) opens Friday

HEIMAT IS A SPACE IN TIME is director Thomas Heise's epic recounting of the life of his family as well as the history of Germany from 1912 until today as chronicled in letters, diaries, photos and other records of his family as well as images of black and white images of Germany today. It is an overwhelming and thought provoking dip in the ocean of our shared lives.

There is no way to be reasonably brief in discussion Thomas Heise's film and to do it justice. This film is history and life an immersion tank. It is a three hour and thirty eight minute long trip though history that you either fall into or fall asleep with. I fell into the film and despite starting the film at 10:30 at night I drift along its tale of generations dealing with war racism, the fragmenting and reunification of a country and life in general. It is a monster of a tale that I look forward to revisiting.

As much as I love this film and the head-space it creates I do need to warn you, this is not a straight forward film. We listen to diary entries and letters while looking at images that may or not be connected. Some are of Heise's family, many others are of Germany today. You may argue that there is no connection, but there is, this may be an "historical" tale but it is also a story for today. The tales of war and violence, of racial hatred, of breaking apart and coming together is not a story of long ago but one of today. If there were not occasional details to place events in a specific time this would be firmly a tale set right now. Things do not change nor have they changed that much.

If you want to know what this is like think of it as being similar to Patrick Keiller's Robinson films, but three times as long and even more involving.

You will forgive a lack of detailed discussion but there simply is too much life here to fully discuss briefly or after a single viewing. Like a great novel I need to revisit this to fully understand the expanse of the tale.

Highly recommended to anyone who want to see films that are not like any other, who doesn't mind silences or having to work with a filmmmaker and for those who want a truly epic story that doesn't end when the end credits roll but stays with you for days and weeks after you see it coloring the world around you.

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