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The Television Movie "Heimat": German Longing – and Loathing – for a Lost Mythical Home (1984)

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Scene 105 – Entrance to the farm, blacksmith’s shop, Paul’s parents’ house

Paul’s steps become quicker as he hurries around the corner of the house. Loud hammering is coming from the blacksmith’s workshop; it is music in Paul’s ears. As he looks through the small panes into the workshop interior, dancing iron-filings fly toward him. His father is absorbed in his work, forming a wheel shoe by striking his hammer onto the glowing red and yellow metal. Paul hurries to the workshop and grabs a sledgehammer to help his father, who steps outside. The father acknowledges the return of his son with a short glance but first wants to finish his work. Together they hammer the wheel, which they then mount onto the shaft as a team. Only then does Mathias speak to Paul.

MATHIAS: The cart belongs to Kath Legrand. Her son Helmut was killed at the bend in the Vistula River.

Mathias then goes back into the workshop while Paul finishes mounting the wheel. He takes off his backpack and follows Mathias into the workshop, where together they form another piece of iron with alternating hammer blows. Meanwhile, Katharina Simon, Paul’s mother, steps out of the house and recognizes her son, who had been presumed lost.

MATHIAS: Thank God!

Now Paul also notices his mother.

KATHARINA (to herself): Paul is back!

Paul hurries to Katharina, who awkwardly grabs him by the shoulders and at the same time tries to push him into the house, to the center of the family. But Paul twists out of her embracing arms and speaks lovingly to her.

PAUL: Mother, wait a minute!

Paul goes toward the manure heap, which is between the blacksmith’s workshop and the house, and as he walks he opens his fly to pee on the heap. Katharina comments on Paul’s ritual with a hearty, relieved laugh to her husband Mathias, who also observes the scene from the workshop. As Paul stands at the dunghill and empties his bladder, it is as if all the pressure, all the fear and desperation of the past years, flow out of him.

Source: Edgar Reitz, Script for Heimat, Book 1: Wanderlust. Munich, 1984, pp. 1-4; published on the following website:

Translation: Allison Brown

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