Heimat 3 review

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Shot on film and scaled for cinema, the third cycle in writer/director Edgar Reitz's colossal chronicle of 20th century Germany will still find its natural home on DVD - - although it's worth catching in cinemas if you have a spare 11 hours.

It spans the decade between the fall of the Berlin Wall and the new millennium, returning to the rural Hunsrück of the first series to show how the tide of history - - German reunification, NATO's exit, Russian immigration - - impacts on the locals and their sense of identity.

Above all, Heimat 3 is a full-blooded family melodrama: conductor/composer Hermann (Henry Arnold) and singer Clarissa (Salome Kammer) are the central couple, but the film's novelistic sweep involves their children, siblings, parents and workmates. Guided by an urgent score and increasingly melancholic in tone, as age and disappointment take their toll, it's an impressive feat of layered storytelling.

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