Thomas Heise (1955 – 2024)

We are deeply saddened to learn of documentary filmmaker Thomas Heise’s sudden death at age 68. His internationally acclaimed film Heimat is a Space in Time, released by Icarus Films in 2019, is an understated epic that brilliantly marries the written word, image, and sound design.

In an essay for Film Comment, J. Hoberman writes:

Heimat is elliptical yet detailed, generous even while withholding, distanced but compelling, heady to the max and just as emotionally absorbing. The movie is divided into five chapters, during which the voice of the filmmaker alone is heard reading, without annotation, the documents he has salvaged. His measured tone and unhurried delivery have a hypnotic neutrality, matched by the crisp austerity of the black-and-white images.”

Read the Film Comment essay in full here.

Read an interview with Heise by Jordan Cronk for Film Comment here.

We also thought to resurface this interview with Heise on the film at the time of its release, introduced by host Jed Rapfogel of Anthology Film Archives, in a live remote Q&A moderated by programmer Nellie Killian, and translated live from the German by Deniz Sertkol-Bergner.

More praise for Heimat is a Space in Time:

“Masterful and uncompromising.” —Libération

“A monumental film.” —CineEuropa

“A truly great epic; such is Heise’s mastery that you find yourself on the verge of tears, laughing out loud and shaking your head in wonder.” —The Telegraph

“A masterpiece; an exceptional record of the persistence of history and memory in the current moment.” —The Globe and Mail

“Filmmaker Thomas Heise delves into his family’s (and country’s) tortured past in this transfixing documentary.” —The Hollywood Reporter

The backbone of the 2019 Berlin Film Festival.” —Der Spiegel

“Mesmeric, persuasive and cumulatively powerful, as each piece of the puzzle falls into place.” —Variety

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top