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Heimkehr (1941) [canceled]
#1
Heimkehr is a German film originally released in 1941. After the war it was labeled as propaganda and banned across Europe. The film elements (along with other "banned films") currently reside in the German Federal Archives Vault. There's never been any wide release outside it's initial theatrical run and needless to say no home media release. If you wanted to watch it today this is what you're stuck with:
[Image: kjs6sm.jpg]
This is a very blown out old tape transfer from who knows when. You can easily find it on archive.org and if you search for a version of this film this is what you'll find. It looks and sounds terrible, and is also very poorly stabilized. Nothing from this transfer was used.

Searching further I was able to dig up this:
[Image: laq45e.jpg]
A significant improvement. Not perfect, it's still sourced from a tape, and the timer is baked into the transfer. The only version I was able to find has that watermark throughout. The video is still watchable and the audio isn't terrible, this is what most of my restoration is sourced from.

There's also this:
[Image: r32yzc.jpg]
There is an HD master that exists (translated to English no less), however it is only brought out for very limited educational showings. The documentary "Forbidden Films" contains about 5 minutes worth of scenes from the HD master.

This is what I plan on doing:
  • Upscaling the tape transfer to get the best quality I can out of it
  • Integrating as much video and audio from the HD version I can dig up if anyone knows of any sources out there please let me know
  • Rendering it out at 24 FPS
  • Translating the entire film into English (primarily using AI tools as I don't speak German) if anyone speaks German and wants to help edit/translate subs I could use the help

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#2
It was labeled propaganda because it is propaganda. From wikipedia:

Quote:Filled with heavy-handed caricature, it justifies extermination of Poles with a depiction of relentless persecution of ethnic Germans, who escape death only because of the German invasion.


This verson also has a timestamp/logo and no subtitles.. And the web-dl that it comes from is 23.976 and 2x+ the bitrate of the one on archive.org:
https://i.imgur.com/IEMecC7.png
https://i.imgur.com/uWHkGB9.png

Buuuut probably better to just buy this NTSC dvd which says it's been restored from the 35mm film and has English subtitles:
https://ihffilm.com/33178.html
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#3
Oh wow! I don't know how that DVD never came up in any of my searches. It definitely looks promising, though it also wouldn't be the first time I've been burned buying a public domain film that claimed to be "restored".
I'll report back in a couple weeks when it arrives.
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#4
(2023-05-11, 03:42 AM)stwd4nder2 Wrote: Oh wow! I don't know how that DVD never came up in any of my searches. It definitely looks promising, though it also wouldn't be the first time I've been burned buying a public domain film that claimed to be "restored".
I'll report back in a couple weeks when it arrives.

It's in the first couple rows of new releases so it might not have been out too long. It's one of the IHF branded DVDs so I bet it's decent quality but IHF puts their own logo in the upper right hand corner iirc but it's not too intrusive at least. I'm always looking for old/rare DVDs and bought a couple IHF branded dvds for a couple bucks just a few weeks ago. Hopefully it looks decent.
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#5
I received the IHF DVD:
[Image: 6roadq.jpg]
I think this might be the restoration done by the German Federal Archives. I highly doubt they were officially involved so I'm betting there's an interesting story here that we'll never know. The translation varies slightly from the other HD scenes I have, but I don't see any major issues skimming through it. Other then the obvious issues of only being 480p and the "very tiny and mostly un-intrusive) watermark I'm very pleased with this release.
Unless I manage to somehow obtain more HD footage, I don't see any reason to go through with this project.
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