Günderrode house

“A place of longing” rhapsodises the singer Clarissa Lichtblau when she meets her early love, conductor Hermann Simon, in Berlin on 9th November 1989. The night the Berlin wall falls, the two musicians, both uprooted from home and stressed with their careers, meet in a hotel in West Berlin. Once a pair of lovers, they had lost sight of each for 17 years through their success-driven, jet-setting life-styles. But now, caught up in the euphoric passion for a new start that gripped so many Germans, the couple set off for the Hunsrück mountains. A romantic half-timbered house high above the Rhine valley captures their imagination. With fantastic views over the Loreley rock, this now forms the focus of their restless lives.

The “Günderrode house” is where the story-lines intersect in the third series of the successful German film trilogy “Heimat 3” – “A chronicle of an era” by Edgar Reitz - a narrative of life in the last decade of the last century.

The six episodes in this epic film begin with the turbulence and recklessness of building a home, drawing in a number of people: young builders from Leipzig and Dresden, Clarissa’s relations from Hamburg, friends from Berlin or Munich, and Hermann’s relations from the Hunsrück area. Then there are American GI families, as well as “Russakis”, ethnic German minorities returning from Russia and Kazakhstan. We meet familiar faces from the HEIMAT 1 series, as well as new characters such as the four young builders from East Germany who restore the historic half-timbered house for Clarissa and Hermann.

Director Edgar Reitz commissioned Ars Ligni GmbH in Münchwald to create the film set. Some years ago, the professionally trained employees of this company dismantled the half-timbered house, which dated from 1780 and originally stood in Seibersbach / Hunsrück, and spent several months carefully reconstructing it for the film shoot in Oberwesel. Each step of this unique reconstruction work is documented in a series of high quality photos. For this completely new challenge of relocating a historic building for a film set, the specialists were able to fall back on their long-standing experience in the preservation of historic monuments, and performed a veritable wonder.