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Forum & Friends 
(forever): in memoriam 
Thomas Heise

Portrait of Thomas Heise: A man with short grey hair and narrow-rimmed glasses. He is smiling.
© Inge Zimmermann

"The material in the film is what's left of my family, remains. The ones I know about, whose circumstances I experienced or learnt about in a different way. Remains that reflect history, history that is also mine." - He liked to appear taciturn, first searching for the right formulations, then adding to them, even weakening them, but only in order to allow his interlocutor to participate in his own thought processes, for which for him the non-linear was always constitutive: the search with all its leaps, apparent sidetracking, and what emerges and returns while working through it - for Thomas Heise the search was always a document itself. Material. The real thing, so to speak. Which makes a postscript possible, even when the last word seems to have already been spoken. Testament as utopia.

Heise's sudden death on May 29, 2024 has given us the task of contemplating the present by turning to the past, of questioning existence through its findings. How many films, images, protagonists, how many texts, sentences, words he left us - how much material! There is a moment of happiness in this sober (yet approachable) and concrete (yet pathetic) confrontation with the world (including its violent side, the monstrosity that became possible in it): There is always something that remains for the future in what remains, for a past "that is also ours" that continues to run its course, what a consolation. Utopia as a testament.

Seeing Thomas Heise's incredibly open films as a journey through his life and dedicating ourselves to him, to what we know about him – this is the honest project about the director, who was often represented in the Forum, that Forum & Friends will take on over three intense evenings at the end of July. Heise's last and longest (albeit far too short) film HEIMAT IST EIN RAUM AUS ZEIT will provide an opportunity to get in the mood, as a glance back through his eyes and voice. A memorial evening with film clips and thoughts, photos, night music. With Thomas' friends. Finally MATERIAL, a turning point/the fall of the Berlin Wall, final/fragmentary, cinema/immortal. (Barbara Wurm)

We are in mourning.

On Forum & Friends.

Funded by:

  • Logo Minister of State for Culture and the Media