Synopsis by Nathan Southern
Director Edgar Reitz concludes his epic-length, tripartite chronicle of the Simon clan with the 11-hour (six episode) Heimat 3: A Chronicle of Endings and Beginnings. The omega and alpha of the title refer to the fall of the Iron Curtain in Eastern Europe, circa 1989 (an event that christens the opening of the film) and the outset of the new millennium (which marks the conclusion). In between, Reitz plunges into the world of the Simons - residents of the village of Schabbach in the Hunsrück region of Germany - and investigates the myriad of ways in which events from their lives intersect with broader German sociopolitical shifts over the course of the 1990s. This installment begins with the youngest Simon son, Hermann, and his lover, Clarissa, renovating a centuries-old house on a cliff above the Rhine, not far from Lorelei. As time unfurls, Reitz cross-cuts between the experiences of the couple, their parents, their children, and the workmen assisting with the home renovation, and gradually reveals how a sense of national pride and unity at the beginning of the 1990s (coincident with German reunification) ultimately yielded to disillusionment, disappointment, and crushing awareness of mortality from individual to individual as the decade ended.
family, German [nationality], husband-and-wife, Iron-Curtain, millennium