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VENICE 2006 Horizons

Edgar Reitz goes to pieces


Edgar Reitz seems unable to separate himself from that which the German press joking calls the "Mammutwerk" when referring to the epic proportions of his work Heimat, on which he has been working for almost 25 years.

This year, the 73 year-old director presented Heimat Fragmente in the Horizons section of the Venice Film Festival, calling the film “the result of the rediscovery of material in the spring of 2005 while preparing the Heimat archive".

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Shelving the project of Heimat 4, which was intended to present the tragic events of 9/11 seen from the point of view of the imaginary city of Schabbach, Reitz decided to recoup, and edit in an original manner, all of the never before seen material that was the product of years of work, dedicating it above all to his actors: "Heimat Fragmente is a film on time, which reawakens the memories of friends and actors who have grown old along with Heimat".

This addendum of sorts to his highly famous trilogy made for German television begins where Heimat 3 left off, that is, with Lulu (Nicola Schösser), the last member of the Simon family, looking towards the new millennium, symbol of a generation without hope. Lulu calls herself an "archaeologist of the future” and decides to return to the places of the previous film, in search of the past.

She thus becomes an intermediary (at times rather forced, also due to the sharp contrast between digital and film) for recovered sequences, some of them very intense and inexplicably eliminated, such as Eveline’s return home in The Second Heimat, others that, however, are less successful.

Produced by Reitz & Reitz Medien and distributed by ARRI Media, Heimat Fragmente is essentially a compendium for experts, a work for Reitzian philologists, yet it nevertheless does not lack interesting reflections on the director’s favourite theme: the inexorable passing of time.

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(Translated from Italian)

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