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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not a soap.
Having watched and thoroughly enjoyed the earlier series I approached this one with a mixture of anticipation and trepidation, I'd read that the series had degenerated into some some sort of Clarissa and Hermann soap.

In fact it's an interesting view of Germany just before, during, and after reunification. While it does centre on the restoration of a house...
Published on 30 May 2009 by Mr. S. Crook

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars shortened version - and too much monochrome
This series gives a fascinating insight into Germany at the time of reunification. And it is also a good way of improving one's German. Nevertheless I was left feeling disappointed, and I have two specific criticisms:
Firstly, the running times of some of the episodes are much shorter than advertised. The Wikipedia article states "The cinema version consists of six...
Published 16 months ago by Alan D


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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not a soap., 30 May 2009
By 
Mr. S. Crook (Way out west) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Heimat 3 - A Chronicle Of Endings And Beginnings [2005] [DVD] (DVD)
Having watched and thoroughly enjoyed the earlier series I approached this one with a mixture of anticipation and trepidation, I'd read that the series had degenerated into some some sort of Clarissa and Hermann soap.

In fact it's an interesting view of Germany just before, during, and after reunification. While it does centre on the restoration of a house purchased by our favourite arty couple, there are plenty of new characters and a few that are familiar from earlier series. There's a return to dealing with the lives of the Simon family, using them, Schabbach and the Hunsruck to illustrate the changes in the larger Germany. The fate of Simon Optic is particularly interesting...

All in all, I thought it was both entertaining and informative. The running time means that Reitz has plenty of opportunity for developing his characters, what's so impressive is that despite the detail there's little that's boring or irrelevant.

According to my wife (who's German and from the Frankfurt area) the translation can be a little wobbly, particularly when it comes to anything that's dialect.

I thoroughly enjoyed the whole thing and these days I find a rarely care about characters in TV drama, but I did care about Heimat. Even Hermann, (who was a bit of a self centred prat in the second series) has his human side, and I was sorry to wave them goodbye. Except Clarissa, who remains as unsympathetic as ever.
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43 of 45 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Deeper Sequel, 15 May 2008
By 
Mr. J. Morfey "Elmbeard" (Malvern, Worcestershire, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Heimat 3 - A Chronicle Of Endings And Beginnings [2005] [DVD] (DVD)
I fell in love with the original Heimat when it came out in 1984 and was televised then. It was by far the best exposition of German life during the Third Reich, and explains a lot about how ordinary Germany was taken in by the Nazis (or suffered them or enthused about them). I was left after the last episode set in 1982 that it was a shame the lives of the next generation could not be explored further.

I was disappointed by the Second Heimat because it dwelt on a generation above mine who were already leaving home at the time I was born. I felt it a self-indulgence of Edgar Reitz to dwell on his extended autobiography through Hermann.

So I was most interested when Heimat 3 carried on from the first series, in and around Schabbach, opening just seven years after the last episode, when German history was starting to get interesting again.

I thought I would miss too much the original series to enjoy something set in the 1990s throughout, but as the run progressed, I started to love some of the depths and the pathos of Heimat 3, which ran even deeper than before, as if Heimat 1 was just skimming over the surface.

Two of the characters from the first series were played by the same actors. This was a triumph to bring in Matthias Kniesbeck and Michael Kausch as Anton and Ernst. This led to some interesting make-up continuity problems, since in 1982, the actors were already playing characters 25 years older than themselves: Kniesbeck looked too young, and Kausch over made-up with his bald head. By Heimat 3, these actors had aged themselves 20 years and the characters only seven, so they both fitted well into old men approaching 70. The paradox between these two set up in the 1950s and the 1960s especially was improved upon in Heimat 3 - Ernst the wide boy with a passion for human rights and correcting injustices, and Anton the bear of a man with a love for his homeland and its people and a sense of traditional propriety quite different to that of his brother, but no less or more valid.

The central theme of Heimat 3 is of course Hermann. It was not exclusively about him this time, and used his intense artistic sensitivity and calm impassion in the face of his family's goings on to great effect. His homecoming after a bitter departure was another fresh slant on the same theme, set at the start by his stepfather, Paul. This theme was explored elsewhere in Heimat 3 exploiting history that had not existed before 1989.

It was brilliant how the theme of restoring an old house gave us a whole set of new characters, not from Schabbach, but no less interesting. Gunnar, the impulsive Eastern builder led to a memorable scene with his daughter at the turn of the millennium, which was a mixture of rough justice, pathos and joy in equal measures.

Galena, (the warm and pretty young Russian mother brought in by Ernst) willing to subject herself to anything for the sake of her child and her new life. This is an interesting refection on the mail-order bride syndrome as a response to cold modern Western feminism (the most notably chilling example being the female funeral director in a middle episode).

These are two characters who would be nice to see in any Heimat 4.

Maybe the biggest difficulty following on from the first series concerns Anton's five children. In the first series, they were rich kids, but not unpleasant - the 1982 Gisela was quite beautiful. By Heimat 3, they had become really nasty pieces of work, with little to commend any of them. The only other character irredeemably bad was of course Wilfried Wiegand from Series One, whom Reitz had written in to repay a hostile critic namesake who had blighted his early career. Even Ernst, who was made out to be a baddie in the last two episodes of the first series, was a saint compared to this shower.

All along there are little timebombs set up in earlier episodes which go off later - notably the cause of Hermann's foot injury (sharp-eyed devotees will remember the same thing happening in the first series), and a chance encounter on a train which was to have major repercussions later.

I could go on at the risk of spoiling it for those who have not seen it on TV first...

The two documentaries on the first disk are also very good. Please note that the latest cheaper box set (released April 2008) does not contain the paperback book with the cast list and a lot of background information. Just the six disks.

By and large, the subtitles are very good and complement the German well (it is better to go along with the Hunsruck dialect but have the English too). I do wish though they would translate Ernst's insult "Fussganger" as "pedestrian" rather than the more positive "hiker".

It is not a work for the action movie devotee - it goes far too slowly for that. Nor does it have the simplistic formulae of soap opera. It is a work one has to bury oneself in, like a novel, and for me this works.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sadly it has to end, 6 Feb 2010
This review is from: Heimat 3 - A Chronicle Of Endings And Beginnings [2005] [DVD] (DVD)
Be sure to watch the first and second Heimat before you watch this, as it really is a continuation of those two masterworks. Here we catch up with Herman who is slightly older, who manages to bump into Clarissa. We follow the pair through their lives together and all their adventures, as the world approaches the end of the twentieth century. The German history is all there, the fall of the Berlin wall, the rise of America and Capitalism; as much as you can expect from a film; if not more. It is noticable how much society changed over the eighty years or so, if you keep in mind and compare it to the tight family unit and the humble, isolated village of the first Heimat.

This has more of the sentiment of the first Heimat as we are back in Hunsruck, as old characters return; along with some very poignant new ones. I think if you've seen the first two and enjoyed them, then I don't need to encourage you to watch this, as you're probably hooked by now, and want to discover how Reitz resolves things for Herman and others. Not as strong as the first two, but still brilliant, and memorable.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars shortened version - and too much monochrome, 14 Mar 2013
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This review is from: Heimat 3 - A Chronicle Of Endings And Beginnings [2005] [DVD] (DVD)
This series gives a fascinating insight into Germany at the time of reunification. And it is also a good way of improving one's German. Nevertheless I was left feeling disappointed, and I have two specific criticisms:
Firstly, the running times of some of the episodes are much shorter than advertised. The Wikipedia article states "The cinema version consists of six episodes running to 11 hours 29 minutes, although controversially the version broadcast on the German ARD television network in December 2004 was edited to six ninety-minute episodes and it is this shortened version which was released on DVD." I suspect that the full cinema version is probably more coherent and easier to follow than this shortened version.
Secondly, I found myself becoming increasingly irritated by Reitz's frequent and arbitrary switches between colour and black and white. This may have been understandable in the two earlier series, where one could feel that one was watching archive footage from the periods in which the series were set. However it seems completely unnecessary in a series covering the period from 1989. I agree with a review in the Independent which described the switches from colour to monochrome as `seemingly at random'.
Finally, I would definitely recommend starting with the two earlier series before considering whether to purchase this one.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Prima!, 25 May 2012
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This review is from: Heimat 3 - A Chronicle Of Endings And Beginnings [2005] [DVD] (DVD)
A wonderful conclusion to the Heimat trilogy. I first saw Heimat on BBC2 a few years ago and loved the series. If you're learning German like me this is a fantastic learning companion with useful subtitles and a great story to follow - especially as Heimat 3 follows the years from the fall of the Berlin wall - an event which took place while I was studying modern European history at school. Amazon as always offered the best price by far and speedy free delivery too:)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Interweaving high soap within a changing western Europe, 11 Feb 2012
By 
Tim Kidner "Hucklebrook Hound" (Salisbury, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Heimat 3 - A Chronicle Of Endings And Beginnings [2005] [DVD] (DVD)
I need to point out that I've not seen Heimat 1, nor 2.

However, I would say that with much recent changing history in Germany; the fall of the Wall, monetary unification and US military bases withdrawing, this hardly seems to matter, as it's all fairly fresh in the mind. We (us Brits) also view it all as slight outsiders as real people (well, fictionalised actors) are affected by those changes and that gives us a freshness, a keenness as another country's scenarios are new to us.

I thought it would plod, be very proper and maybe a bit righteous. However, it was fresh, breezy and superbly presented with a vibrant colour and excellent sound. Acting too, is first rate.

I found myself being swept along with the various characters involved, their almost normal activities keeping it real, but also compelling, as we can relate to their family and business issues. Then, a change of scene, location, and new people the story branches off and you enjoy that route. Cleverly, though, the sub-plots seem to relate or interlink with characters manifesting themselves just as you'd nearly forgotten them.

If I recall, I viewed all of it just over a year ago, over one week. Though it changed its pace from thriller to intense drama, it was never boring. I wasn't riveted to all of it 100%, possibly one can't, with so much going on and human nature warms us to threads that hold particular interest to each of us differently.

Naturally, I'd like to see the original, first and critically most acclaimed box set. This, the second and my third part are collector's items and expensive ones at that. Ones to show off to any knowing and adventurous movie/DVD collector. But more than that, that one's been thoroughly and decently entertained by it. Now, that IS a talking point...
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars One for Heimat converts., 29 Jan 2009
This is really for people who've already watched the first two seasons, or at least Heimat 2. Don't start with this one. It's much shorter that previous installments and certainly isn't as stunning. It could be seen as a disappointment in comparison to the previous seasons. Still, since I grew to love the characters from the previous seasons, it was still vital and unmissable. Heimat is the best drama I've seen on TV, it's something everyone should enjoy. It has it's faults, its pretentious characters to the Holocaust being 'overlooked', but it has a epic quality that builds throughout each huge episode. Something you'll wish never ended. Powerful and intelligent work, a great work of fiction. Heimat will stay with me for the rest of my life; a masterpiece.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Herman Heads Home, 18 Jun 2014
By 
Nicholas Casley (Plymouth, Devon, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Heimat 3 - A Chronicle Of Endings And Beginnings [2005] [DVD] (DVD)
After watching the box sets of ‘Heimat I’ and ‘II’, I was looking forward to the third series. Perhaps my expectations were too high. Co-written by Edgar Reitz and East German writer Thomas Brussig, Martini Brady (writing in ‘Sight & Sound’) sees ‘Heimat III’ as sometimes “a frustrating blend” of Reitz’s neo-romanticism and Brussig’s re-unification comedy. I don’t see it as two films in one; rather as an often embarrassingly silly soap-opera.

It’s November 1989, we are in Berlin, the night the wall came down, and where Herman and Clarissa bump into each other after seventeen years. (We last left them in Amsterdam in 1970.) Unconvincing co-incidences continue as the story unfolds and I started to feel cringes about what was developing onscreen. But I persevered and watched the whole a second time, without expectations and thus with a better perspective, but still the storyline verged too often on the ridiculous (unless the screenplay was supposed to be symbolic), and despite a growing realisation that perhaps 1989 really was a time of great possibilities.

It may be seventeen years since Clarissa and Herman last met, but it’s nineteen years in time from where Heimat II left off, but only eleven years between productions. The characters of Herman and Clarissa are played by the same actors, as are Herman’s two half-brothers, Anton and Ernst, and Clarissa’s mother. The same actor who played Schnusschen makes an appearance too. But Clarissa’s son Arnold is seventeen here when he should be in his early twenties (unless he died and she had another).

By the time we have digested the second (set in 1990) of the six episodes, we can see that at least ‘Heimat III’ has more of a narrative arc than the second series, but it still rambles in places. Episode three (1992-93) sees the dreams and celebrations of 1989 now turned, not to dust – at least, not yet; but rather turned into an unreal decadence, the economic and social consequence of previous years. The music too becomes eerily foreboding. It’s funny how in my first screening my sympathies in the fight between Anton and his son Hartmut were for the former, but switched to the latter in the second watching.

‘Everybody is Doing Well’ is the title of the fourth episode (1995), arguably the best of the set, but the title is ironic, for no one is happy (unless you count Tillman and Moni). The episode culminates in a farcical funeral, topped by a fine speech from Ernst, now a man of great humanity and with whom we can now be sympathetic in ‘Heimat III’.

But despite its good points, by the time I had reached episode five (set in 1997), my main gripe was how likely it would be that three brothers would become respectively one of the world’s leading manufacturers of high-quality lenses, a celebrated composer and conductor, and the hoarder of an immense collection of twentieth-century art, hidden in a cave like some James Bond villain? One brother’s story would be enough for any family. And yet, not long after watching the series for the first time, the papers were full of the story of Cornelius Gurlitt and just such a collection being amassed in his Munich flat.

The final episode brings us to 1999 and the same eclipse that passed through south-western England. Naturally, fool Gunnar has to look at the sun with no protection, but the unconvincing co-incidences continue: Gunnar bumping into Tillman on the streets of Munich; Clarissa’s mother turning up just as her daughter and Herman are vacating their flat. Finally back where he started – and where he vowed he would never return – Herman in the Hunsruck asserts, “My sense of locality speaks to me. It is like a dog who remembers with its nose tales which are now buried.”

There are some clever moments that many might miss. I don’t claim to know them all, but I liked, for instance, how the scene of Gunnar’s foolishness jump-cuts into Herman conducting the apt ‘Till Eulenspiegel’. There are also some striking images in the series, such as a giant statue of Lenin stood up in the back of a lorry or the planes from the US airbase in the Rhineland taking off above the protests of the locals. The soundtrack too continues to intrigue, especially the rapid woodwind arpeggios.

So full marks for a rich and colourful, if too straight (until the final five minutes!), tapestry, epitomised at the end by the New Year’s Eve celebrations for the new millennium where everyone – living and dead – come together. But the series’s often ludicrous storyline still jars. If the focus had been more on Herman, then I would have given four stars, since whenever the film concentrates on his character there is a sense of grounding and believability. But as a whole, I feel I can only award three stars.

There are two extras on the DVD set. The first, a documentary called ‘Schabbach is Everywhere’, takes a behind-the-scenes look at filming as well as speaks to a number of actors from all three series (but not Clarissa or Herman). Eva-Maria Schneider (who played Marie-Goot) now conducts ‘Heimat’ tours of the Hunsruck. The second is an interview with Edgar Reitz in which he remarks on the autobiographical elements in the three series, chats about the making of them, and comments generally on German film-making since 1945.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Heimat if only.............................., 16 Dec 2013
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This review is from: Heimat 3 - A Chronicle Of Endings And Beginnings [2005] [DVD] (DVD)
Not one for lengthy reviews - I often find I have to find words to get to the required number to publish the review. There are no doubt others who have written more erudite reviews but as the ending of the Heimat chronicle this is another part of the ever expanding German history that I believe we should embrace and whilst there are some who would wish to alter history it is just that history.
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8 of 11 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A completely missed chance, 9 Oct 2010
This review is from: Heimat 3 - A Chronicle Of Endings And Beginnings [2005] [DVD] (DVD)
I saw the First Heimat and enjoyed it. I saw the Second and became completely engrossed in the characters, and Reitz's ability to make something so archetypal and resonant from such recent history. I felt with so many of the scenes - between lovers, unequal friends, between unmatched couples, people who have chosen, fatally, the wrong path in life - I had never seen these things better said. It seemed to have the greatness of a great novel, and to have characters that you actually met, and thought about when you weren't watching it, feeling as protective of them or hostile towards them as you would against people you had to spend time with. It was as compelling as a soap opera but with the values of the best arthouse films, and if you liked it, there were 26 hours of it. Nobody I knew was quite the same person after watching it: it was truly enriching.

This is why Heimat 3, which I've now tried watching on several occasions (this time getting within one episode of the end) seems such a woefully missed chance. Because there really was a fascinating Heimat to be made about the Reunification years of the 90s, but this Heimat is the opposite. Since the first two Heimats, everything seems to have had colour bled from it: the characters are insipid, the plots paroquial and uninteresting (minutes of screen time are given to something as banal as one of the characters getting a mobile phone - yes, we get the point), and worse still, apart from Herman, there is no character, unlike Heimats One and Two, that you can really love. The only endearing character - a luckless and abandoned Ossi husband trying to win back his wife - is similarly (and criminally) forgotten by the director, just when his story is getting interesting. As for the rest, they are either dislikable (Clarissa) or bland: it is significant, I think, that a few months after watching the series, I cannot remember a single new character's name - in stark contrast to Heimat 2, where each character was a real and unforgettable encounter. Again, a missed chance: there was a great story to tell of what happened to characters like the lost Juan or the frustrated, violently political Helga, and there was a great story to tell about Berlin in the 90s, not a sleepy Hunsruck village where retiling the roof is an event.

I was disappointed: I didn't expect another Heimat 2, but I did expect 13 or so stimulating hours in the company of interesting characters. Maybe middle age is simply less commanding than youth, but middle-aged, and suburban, and tired out, is what Heimat 3 seems.
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