Edgar Reitz
Edgar Reitz is a German
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

 filmmaker and Professor of Film at the Staatliche Hochschule für Gestaltung (State University of Design) in Karlsruhe
The City of Karlsruhe is a city in the southwest of Germany, in the state of Baden-Württemberg, located near the French-German border.Karlsruhe was founded in 1715 as Karlsruhe Palace, when Germany was a series of principalities and city states...


Early life and education

Reitz was born in Morbach
Morbach is a municipality that belongs to no Verbandsgemeinde – a kind of collective municipality – in the Bernkastel-Wittlich district in Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany...

, Hunsrück
The Hunsrück is a low mountain range in Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany. It is bounded by the river valleys of the Moselle , the Nahe , and the Rhine . The Hunsrück is continued by the Taunus mountains on the eastern side of the Rhine. In the north behind the Moselle it is continued by the Eifel...

. His father Robert was a watchmaker
A watchmaker is an artisan who makes and repairs watches. Since virtually all watches are now factory made, most modern watchmakers solely repair watches. However, originally they were master craftsmen who built watches, including all their parts, by hand...

 and his business in Morbach was later taken over by Reitz's brother Guido. Reitz's interest in acting and producing plays began in his school years in Simmern
Simmern is a town of 8,000 inhabitants in Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany, the district seat of the Rhein-Hunsrück-Kreis, and the seat of the like-named Verbandsgemeinde...

, where he was encouraged by his German teacher Karl Windhäuser. After taking his Abitur
Abitur is a designation used in Germany, Finland and Estonia for final exams that pupils take at the end of their secondary education, usually after 12 or 13 years of schooling, see also for Germany Abitur after twelve years.The Zeugnis der Allgemeinen Hochschulreife, often referred to as...

, he studied German studies
German studies
German studies is the field of humanities that researches, documents, and disseminates German language and literature in both its historic and present forms. Academic departments of German studies often include classes on German culture, German history, and German politics in addition to the...

, journalism
Journalism is the practice of investigation and reporting of events, issues and trends to a broad audience in a timely fashion. Though there are many variations of journalism, the ideal is to inform the intended audience. Along with covering organizations and institutions such as government and...

, art history
Art history
Art history has historically been understood as the academic study of objects of art in their historical development and stylistic contexts, i.e. genre, design, format, and style...

 and theatre studies
Theatre studies
Theatre studies is the study of theatrical performance in relation to its literary, physical, psycho-biological, sociological, and historical contexts. It is an interdisciplinary field which also encompasses the study of theatrical aesthetics and semiotics...

 in Munich
Munich The city's motto is "" . Before 2006, it was "Weltstadt mit Herz" . Its native name, , is derived from the Old High German Munichen, meaning "by the monks' place". The city's name derives from the monks of the Benedictine order who founded the city; hence the monk depicted on the city's coat...

 from 1952. His first experiences in film-making however were not theoretical; he worked as a camera, editing, and production assistant from 1953.

Institut für Filmgestaltung

In 1963 along with Alexander Kluge
Alexander Kluge
Alexander Kluge is an author and film director.-Early life, education and early career:Kluge was born in Halberstadt, Saxony-Anhalt, Germany....

 he founded the Institut für Filmgestaltung (Institute for Film Design) which was affiliated to the Ulm School of Design
Ulm School of Design
The Ulm School of Design was a college of design based in Ulm, Germany.Founded in 1953 by Inge Aicher-Scholl, Otl Aicher and Max Bill, the latter being first Rector of the school and a former student at the Bauhaus. The HfG quickly gained international recognition and is now viewed as being second...

, where he taught film directing
Film director
A film director is a person who directs the actors and film crew in filmmaking. They control a film's artistic and dramatic nathan roach, while guiding the technical crew and actors.-Responsibilities:...

 and camera theory until the School of Design closed in 1968. As part of the group around Kluge, Reitz was a participant in the Oberhausen Manifesto
Oberhausen Manifesto
The Oberhausen Manifesto was a declaration by a group of 26 young German filmmakers at the International Short Film Festival Oberhausen, North Rhine-Westphalia on February 28, 1962. The manifesto was a call to arms to establish a "new German feature film". It was initiated by Haro Senft and among...

 which was announced at the Oberhausen
Oberhausen is a city on the river Emscher in the Ruhr Area, Germany, located between Duisburg and Essen . The city hosts the International Short Film Festival Oberhausen and its Gasometer Oberhausen is an anchor point of the European Route of Industrial Heritage. It is also well known for the...

 Short Film Festival of 1962. With this manifesto young German filmmakers demanded nothing less than a new form of cinema: "Der alte Film ist tot. Wir glauben an den neuen." ("The old film is dead. We believe in the new film"). The manifesto is associated with the motto "Papas Kino ist tot" ("Papa's cinema is dead"). Subsequently the concept of the auteur gained in popularity in Germany, and Reitz played a significant role in shaping this concept in the following years.


Reitz received one of his first awards for his film Mahlzeiten which was awarded the prize for best debut work at the Venice Film Festival
Venice Film Festival
The Venice International Film Festival is the oldest international film festival in the world. Founded by Count Giuseppe Volpi in 1932 as the "Esposizione Internazionale d'Arte Cinematografica", the festival has since taken place every year in late August or early September on the island of the...

 in 1967. In 1971 he founded Edgar Reitz Filmproduktion (ERF) in Munich. He now began to collaborate on films with his former academic colleague Alexander Kluge
Alexander Kluge
Alexander Kluge is an author and film director.-Early life, education and early career:Kluge was born in Halberstadt, Saxony-Anhalt, Germany....

 amongst them the 1974 fictitious documentary
Documentary film
Documentary films constitute a broad category of nonfictional motion pictures intended to document some aspect of reality, primarily for the purposes of instruction or maintaining a historical record...

 In Gefahr und größter Not bringt der Mittelweg den Tod. The lavish production costs of the 1978 film The Tailor of Ulm, which portrays the downfall of the aviation pioneer Albrecht Berblinger
Albrecht Berblinger
Albrecht Ludwig Berblinger , also known as the Tailor of Ulm, is famous for having constructed a working flying machine, presumably a hang glider.- Early life :...

, caused Reitz's own financial circumstances to take a tumble. It was during this crisis that the idea for a film project about his homeland, the Hunsrück
The Hunsrück is a low mountain range in Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany. It is bounded by the river valleys of the Moselle , the Nahe , and the Rhine . The Hunsrück is continued by the Taunus mountains on the eastern side of the Rhine. In the north behind the Moselle it is continued by the Eifel...

, first came to Reitz. What began as an attempt at self-discovery, ultimately broadened out into the Heimat
Heimat (film)
Heimat is the overall title of three series of films in 30 episodes written and directed by Edgar Reitz which view life in Germany between 1919 and 2000 through the eyes of a family from the Hunsrück area of the Rhineland. Personal and domestic life is set against glimpses of wider social and...

trilogy (from 1984), which met with critical acclaim, an enthusiastic international audience, and numerous prizes. With this epic and monumental production, Reitz achieved a quite new perspective, an approach, both poetical and realistic, to the past of Germany as it might have played out in the provinces.

In 2004 Reitz was awarded the Carl Zuckmayer Medal
Carl Zuckmayer Medal
The Carl Zuckmayer Medal is a literary prize given by the state of Rhineland-Palatinate in memory of Carl Zuckmayer. The medal itself was fashioned by state artist Prof. Otto Kallenbach. The prize is also given with a 30 liter cask of Nackenheimer wine from region Gunderlock, a type valued by...

 by the state of Rhineland-Palatinate
Rhineland-Palatinate is one of the 16 states of the Federal Republic of Germany. It has an area of and about four million inhabitants. The capital is Mainz. English speakers also commonly refer to the state by its German name, Rheinland-Pfalz ....

 for his life's work.
In the same year, he received the Master of Cinema Award of the International Filmfestival Mannheim-Heidelberg
International Filmfestival Mannheim-Heidelberg
Mannheim-Heidelberg International Filmfestival is an annual film festival held jointly by the cities of Mannheim and Heidelberg in Baden-Württemberg. The festival was established in 1952. In Mannheim there are six cinema centres and 19 single cinemas.The festival presents arthouse films of...

Reitz is married to the singer and actress Salome Kammer
Salome Kammer
Salome Kammer is a German actor, singer and cellist.- Professional career :Kammer was the fourth of six children. Her father was a Protestant pastor...

 (who appeared in Heimats 2 and 3) and lives in Munich.


This article is derived principally from the German Wikipedia article of the same name and the sources listed there.

External links

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