Close Up

1 December 2019: Heimat is a Space in Time


Heimat is a Space in Time
Thomas Heise, 2019, 218 min
German with English subtitles

"Stretching from the dawn of World War I to the present day, Thomas Heise’s monumental essay film reflects on the fraught evolution of Germany’s national identity through the prism of one family’s history. The film, shot in monochrome black-and-white, combines a wealth of archival footage and materials – including letters written by Heise’s grandparents during the war – with new footage in which the director traces vestiges of his country’s national trauma to the very sites and landscapes that once played host to unspeakable violence. As he visualizes his ancestors’ forced displacement across East and West Germany, Heise achieves a moving meditation on the relationship between home and heritage." – Film at Lincoln Center

"Director Thomas Heise was born in East Berlin, and his first films were blocked from release until the fall of the GDR in 1990. Over the past three decades, Heise has worked as a director of both theatre and documentary films, exploring the profound cultural and political changes through this tumultuous period of German reunification. Heise's latest, Heimat is a Space in Time, is a monumental work that traces four generations of his family's archives, from the 19th century to the present – their intimate stories revealing the larger cultural and political events that have shaped the past hundred years of German history." – TIFF