Heimat series

Heimat, Heimat II, Heimat III  ★★★★★
The entire series is quite large but well worth watching. It is entirely in German, but you can get English subtitles from Amazon.co.uk. Get the Tartan Video edition, which is reportedly unabridged and best quality. The version you get from Amazon.com is more expensive, and reportedly of lesser quality. This was a television series in Germany, but would never make it in the US without exceptionally heavy editing of various scenes, though it would distract from the story. Heimat starts out in a fictional village of Schabbach in the Hunsrück region of Germany in 1919 and follows a family over the years. You observe as the family grows, deals with WWII and the aftermath, and deals with the various social issues that arise in Germany over the years. In Heimat II, you follow the life of one of the children in Heimat, Hermann Simon, as he leaves to München to attend the music academy during the 1960s and 1970s. In Heimat III, you follow Hermann’s eventual return to the Hunsrück area, his marriage to Clarisse, and the eventual demise of most of the Simon family to the pressures of modern life. Clarisse is portrayed in an almost biographical fashion (in real life, she is the wife of director Edgar Rietz), and Hermann was also biographical of the director Edgar Rietz. The entire series has a sense of realism that is unusually well done, leaving you with a feeling that you know the Simon family well. It is a must-see, especially if you are interested in Europe and its people.