A compilation of outtakes from the first three "Heimat" series plus new footage fashioned to glue it all roughly together, "Heimat -- Fragments the Women" is essentially a DVD extra with feature ideas above its station. True to its name, fragmentary pic will thrill the small band of "Heimat" fanatics out there, but even for those familiar with the original epic, this reps confusing viewing.

A compilation of outtakes from the first three “Heimat” series plus new footage fashioned to glue it all roughly together, “Heimat — Fragments the Women” is essentially a DVD extra with feature ideas above its station. True to its name, fragmentary pic will thrill the small band of “Heimat” fanatics out there, but even for those familiar with the original epic, this reps confusing viewing. Meanwhile, those who’ve never seen any “Heimat” will find this long and utterly baffling. Niche release is expected in Germany if nowhere else, followed by ancillary retirement.

New framing device, shot unattractively on hi-def by helmer’s son Christian Reitz, features Lulu (Nicola Schoessler), the daughter of series’ anchor character Hermann Simon (Henry Arnold) as she mopes around key locations, contemplating the nature of memory and family. Her musings prompt flashbacks of various characters from all three series, including her grandmother Maria (Marita Breuer), her mother, Claerchen (Gudrun Landgrebe), working as a tour guide, and several of Hermann’s innumerable lovers, including chanteuse Clarissa (Salome Kammer). Occasional moments are striking, but without narrative context, they feel like little more than shards. Even the tech package is below par.

Heimat - Fragments the Women

Germany

Production

A Reitz & Reitz Medien Production, supported by Steftung Rheinland-Pfalz fur Kultur. (International sales: Arri Media Worldsales, Munich.) Produced by Edgar Reitz, Christian Reitz. Directed by Edgar Reitz. Screenplay, Reitz, Peter Steinbach, Thomas Brussig.

Crew

Camera (color, B&W, HD-to-35mm), Christian Reitz, Gernot Roll, Gerard Vendenberg, Thomas Mauch; editors, Heidi Handorf, Susanne Hartmann, Christian Reitz; music, Nikos Mamangakis, Michael Riessler; production designers, Franz Bauer, Irmhild Gumm; costume designers, Reinhild Paul, Ute Schwippert, Regine Baetz, Bille Brassers, Nikola Hoeltz, Rosemarie Hettmann. Reviewed at Venice Film Festival (Horizons), Sept. 1, 2006. Running time: 145 MIN.

With

Nicola Schoessler, Henry Arnold, Salome Kammer, Caspar Arnhold, Gudrun Landgrebe, Joerg Richter, Michael Lesch, Marita Breuer.

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