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Length:924 min
Credits:Directed by Edgar Reitz

When HEIMAT aired in the Federal Republic during the fall of 1984, the film assumed the character of a popular national epic. The chronicle of a rural family activates everyday history in an attempt to catalyze collective memory, reflecting on lived experience between 1919 to 1980 from the perspective of the peasant community, Schabbach. Amidst widespread concern about the atrophy of the environment and the loss of tradition, HEIMAT illustrates the toll that modernity and modernization take on an extended family and a rural landscape. Photography and radio transmit experience and open up Schabbach to the outside world; they also create desires to transcend local horizons. More than a metafilm about technologies of sight and sound, however, HEIMAT functioned as something akin to a master narrative, a rendering of twentieth-century German history which presented an agreeable and untraumatic version of a difficult past, permitting German audiences to ponder taboo concepts of nation and homeland without feeling shame.

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