Local WWII tale Heemwéi a hit in Luxembourg
by Boyd van Hoeij
- The independently made WWII tale Heemwéi from Luxembourgish director Sacha Bachim is closing in on 10,000 admissions
The Grand Duchy of Luxembourg is known for its generous state support of features, notably co-productions with neighbouring countries, such as Oscar-nominated animated film Ernest & Clestine [+see also:
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It is much rarer for a local feature fiction film to be made outside of the Film Fund Luxembourg financing system entirely, and not that easy, as local director Sacha Bachim can attest. He shot his WWII-themed film Heemwéi (which translates as “Homesickeness”) in the summer of 2008 for just €25,000, despite the fact that it is a historical film with impressive battle scenes, army vehicles and even a plane crash.
That said, Bachim and his team at the not-for-profit production company Féierblumm only managed to complete the film late last year and self-distributed it locally in January.
His fellow countrymen clearly thought it was well worth the wait, as the film is now closing in on 10,000 admissions, a huge number for Luxembourg, which only has 525,000 inhabitants, many of whom don’t speak the local language, Luxembourgish, which is the main language of the film (it also features some German and French).
Heemwéi tells the story of two Luxembourgish soldiers, Jos (Steve Hoegener, who co-wrote the screenplay) and Frenz (Luc Lamesch), who are conscripts in the Nazi army and who decide to desert in the summer of 1944, when the German forces are retreating from France. The film follows the odd couple on their long and dangerous walk home.
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