This article focuses on Helke Misselwitz's Fremde Oder/Foreign Oder (2001) and Volker Koepp's Söhne/Sons (2007), two German documentary films featuring journeys to regions of Poland that were once a part of Germany. Both films grapple with the troubled history of the region, and explore the continuing influence of the past on the lives of those now living in the region, and those who left it unwillingly before, during or after the Second World War. Koepp does so through the microcosm of a single, albeit large, German-Polish family, while Misselwitz's interview subjects are many and diverse. The article begins by considering the filmmakers' approaches. It then turns to analyzing the nostalgia both films are permeated by, before exploring the German-Polish interactions that are central to the films. The article then canvasses Heimat and belonging in the films, before ending with a discussion of memory and place.
- Volker Koepp Helke Misselwitz German film Poland nostalgia travel