In Heimat is a Space in Time, German filmmaker Thomas Heise shares the stories of three generations of his family, in their own words.
Heise sets the tone early, reading an anti-war essay written in 1912 by his grandfather Wilhelm, when he was a schoolboy. The director uses the same matter-of-fact, uninflected tone throughout the film – as he reads letters and notes from relatives who lived through the horrors of the First World War, Nazi Germany, life in Communist East Germany and the fall of the Berlin Wall.
Heimat is a Space in Time defies easy description. Heise offers no context, no talking heads, no analysis. Yet this unadorned approach, coupled with the potent imagery accompanying the words, is one of the film’s greatest strengths.
Clearly influenced by his own previous work, Heimat is the culmination of Heise’s career. The unspoken message is that the past, even as those who remember it slip away, remains with us.