Winner of the Peace Prize at Berlinale in 1991, where it was presented in the Panorama section, Helga Reidemeister's RODINA MEANS HOME chronicles in a two hour documentary the shaky political atmosphere in Germany and the Soviet Union shortly after the fall of the Berlin wall. Thanks to extra financial support rendered by producer Regina Ziegler and ZDF commissioner Eckart Stein, Reidemeister was able to follow the departure of 600.000 members of the Soviet military as they leave their barracks to return home to an uncertain future in Kiev and Moscow, Samarkand and Novosibirsk. This period of approximately eight months, from February to October of 1991, also coincides with the aborted putsch in Moscow during the month of August and the subsequent disintegration of the Union of Soviet Republics (USSR) into a newly formed Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS). For several departing Soviet soldiers, Rodina Means Home might just as well refer to Germany, for their feelings on camera for friends and acquaintances here are openly warm and appreciative. On the other hand, the prospect of returning to a home that may not in fact exist is disheartening and leaves some families with a feeling of anxiety and apprehension. "After all, who needs us now?" asks a young officer's wife, living in a cold, pest-filled hovel in Kiev with an infant child while awaiting the return of her husband from his last tour of military duty.
Peter van den Reek, Thomas Keller, Axel Brandt
Regina Ziegler Filmproduktion
Eckart Stein, Anne Even
16 mm, coulor
Friedenspreis der Filmfestspiele Berlin (1991)