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photo © Christian Lüdeke

In the mid 19th century, hundreds of thousands of Europeans emigrated to faraway South America. It was a desperate bid to escape the famine, poverty and despotism that ruled at home. Their motto was: “Any fate is better than death”. Edgar Reitz’s new film DIE ANDERE HEIMAT is a domestic drama and love story set against the backdrop of this forgotten tragedy. It centers around two brothers who realize that only their dreams can save them.

The younger of them, Jakob, reads every book he can lay his hands on. He dreams about leaving his village, Schabbach, for adventures on an unknown continent and the freedom of the wild South American jungle. He studies the languages of the native South Americans and records his heroic attempts to escape the rural confines of the Hunsrück in an astonishing diary that not only tells us his story but reflects the aspirations and philosophies of a whole era. Everyone who encounters Jakob is drawn into the maelstrom of his dreams: his parents, bowed by the unremitting toil involved in making a living from the soil; his belligerent brother Gustav; and above all Henriette (Jettchen), the comely daughter of a gem cutter fallen on hard times. Gustav’s return from military service is destined to shatter Jakob’s world and his love for Henriette.

The film is a sweeping, epic evocation of the mass exodus of the German farmers and craftsmen to the New World. European history, a true story relegated to oblivion, a tale of faith in the future. As Jakob writes in his diary: “What higher aspiration can there be than to join forces and seek a path on which to escape from tyranny and heartlessness? For all can be lost in the twinkling of an eye, sent plunging down to the depths by some tempest. But not what we know in our hearts.”

With the support of the regional population, the film accords fully with the spirit of the world-famous HEIMAT TRILOGY and lays out before us a panorama that seeks to do full justice to the arduous lives of the rural population and their yearnings for a better world and a better life.
Genre Drama, History
Category Feature
Year of Production 2013
Director Edgar Reitz
Screenplay Edgar Reitz, Gert Heidenreich
Cinematography Gernot Roll
Cast Jan Dieter Schneider, Antonia Bill, Maximilian Scheidt, Marita Breuer, Rüdiger Kriese, Philine Lembeck
Producer Christian Reitz
Co-Producer Margaret Menegoz
Production Company Edgar Reitz Filmproduktion, in co-production with Les Films du Losange, ARD Degeto, WDR, BR, ARTE
Runtime 230 min
Format DCP, color, b&w, cs
Subtitled Versions English, French
Festivals Venice 2013 (Out of Competition), Toronto 2013, Festival do Rio 2013, Warsaw 2013, Camerimage 2013 (In Competition), Edinburgh 2014, Shanghai 2014, Cambridge 2014, Muestra de Cine Europeo Ciudad de Segovia 2014, Sevilla 2014, Black Nights Tallinn 2014
Awards Bavarian Film Awards 2013 (Producers Award, Best Screenplay), German Film Award 2014 (Best Film, Best Direction, Best Screenplay)
With backing from German Federal Film Fund / DFFF Deutscher Filmförderfonds, German Federal Film Board / FFA Filmförderungsanstalt, FilmFernsehFonds Bayern, BKM, Eurimages, CNC, Ministry for Economics Rheinland-Pfalz

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