The Heimatfilm as Horror Film: Rosen blühen auf dem Heidegrab (1952)
This article considers the marketing strategies and the formal construction of Hans König.s 1952 film Rosen blühen auf dem Heidegrab in the context of the German visual archive after World War II. Marketed as a Heimatfilm, this film also deviates from the celebration of landscape and provincial life that we tend to associate with the Heimat genre. Rather, its melodramatic plot takes on iconographic associations with the horror genre. The article traces the layered historical resonances that would have been evoked for the contemporary audience by the film.s images of rape and of near-dead bodies as well as by a historical flashback to the Thirty-Years-War. Hardly an innocent fantasy of provincial escape, Rosen blühen auf dem Heidegrab allows us to read the traces of competing contemporary discourses about victimization and guilt across the deceptively idyllic landscape of Germany.s Northern plains.