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Heimat Is a Space in Time(Heimat ist ein Raum aus Zeit)

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Germany, Austria · 2019
3h 38m
Director Thomas Heise
Genre Documentary

At the turn of the 20th century, documentarian Thomas Heise’s family was torn apart. In this essay film, collaging various documents - from diaries to letters - spanning four generations of his family archive, Heise and his loved ones try to piece together the fragmented remnants of their heritage.

Stream Heimat Is a Space in Time

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What are critics saying?


The New York Times by Ben Kenigsberg

Despite some tedious passages, Heimat Is a Space in Time takes an intriguing approach to history that remains refreshingly rooted in primary sources.


Slant Magazine by Carson Lund

Thomas Heise’s documentary seeks to excavate real human thought and feeling beneath the haze of larger political structures.


The Film Stage by Jared Mobarak

We learn everything there is to know about an entire country through the Heise family’s words. Some passages prove better than others, but none are inconsequential to the whole.


The Globe and Mail (Toronto) by Kate Taylor

To watch German documentarian Thomas Heise’s marathon family memoir Heimat is a Space in Time, the viewer has to continually analyze the relationship between text and image.

63 by Matt Fagerholm

If this material were compiled into a book, it would be rightfully deemed great literature. As featured in Heise’s film, however, these insightful words are frequently marred by a style oddly akin to a mournful podcast, one that requires listeners to repeatedly peer at their phone to read the subtitles.


The Guardian by Peter Bradshaw

I was sometimes captivated but often frustrated by this epic essay-film, a meditation on Germany and his own family history that is stark, fierce, austerely cerebral and almost four hours long.


Los Angeles Times by Robert Abele

In its extreme length and precise technique, it’s decidedly not for everybody. But although it is at times distractingly opaque, occasionally Heise’s family’s words, juxtaposed with his sounds and images, crystallize into something singularly wise about the nexus of place, history and trauma.


Variety by Scott Tobias

The overall effect of Heise’s work is mesmeric, persuasive and cumulatively powerful, as each piece of the puzzle falls into place and he lands on overarching insights into a German century and what it portends for the future.