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#TIFF19 Review: Heimat is a Space in Time (Wavelengths)

September 4, 2019

By John Corrado

★★★½ (out of 4)

The latest work from filmmaker Thomas Heise, who was born in East Berlin, Heimat is a Space in Time is a mix of documentary and cinematic essay that is comprised mostly of excerpts from old diaries and letters belonging to his family in Germany, spanning four generations and almost the entirety of the 20th century. Through this, we hear about personal events happening amidst the political upheaval of two world wars and their devastating aftermath, the rise and fall of fascism and communism, as well as loves and lives lost to war and time.

Heise’s narration plays over beautifully shot black and white footage of different German landscapes and other images, that range from the literal to the abstract in how they relate to his voiceover. At a lengthy three hours and thirty eight minutes long, the film does require some commitment. But once you get into it, Heimat is a Space in Time is an intimate, personal epic that offers a moving time capsule of roughly a century of history, as told by those who lived it. It’s long, yes, but as both memory and history collide in the stories being told, the film becomes an absorbing experience that captures the feeling of time and its passage in a way that is entirely unique.

Public Screenings:

Friday, September 6th – 5:15 PM at TIFF Bell Lightbox 4

Sunday, September 15th – 12:45 PM at Jackman Hall (AGO)

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