Environmental Fantasies: Mountains, Cities, and Heimat in Weimar Cinema
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CitationPeabody, Seth. 2015. Environmental Fantasies: Mountains, Cities, and Heimat in Weimar Cinema. Doctoral dissertation, Harvard University, Graduate School of Arts & Sciences.
AbstractThis dissertation analyzes filmic environments within Weimar cinema and argues for a concept of Heimat in which the landscapes of modernity are embedded into the environments of home. Mountain films such as Der heilige Berg enact a visual mechanization of the Alpine landscape; industrial films such as Sprengbagger 1010 constellate pastoral and modernized scenes in a similar fashion to contemporary Heimat club journals; and urban films such as Menschen am Sonntag reveal the ways in which the city figures as Heimat within Weimar film. Further, film journals display contradictory discourses surrounding Heimat before the standardization of idyllic rural scenes in the postwar Heimatfilm genre.
These filmic environments interact with the real-world environment in complex and multi-directional ways. They participate in the development of new ways of seeing, marketing, and using the environment and function as nodes within sociopolitical debates regarding human communities and physical landscapes. These findings complicate arguments made by environmental historians who have claimed that the German notion of Heimat, encompassing both natural and cultural elements, might offer a useful alternative to the essentialism of the American wilderness ideal. In fact, the image of Heimat as a rural nature-culture hybrid, at least within film, only became dominant in the Nazi era. Within Weimar cinema, the term Heimat represents the focal point of a much more diverse and open discussion of environmental values.
Citable link to this pagehttp://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:17467382
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