August 1992, three years after the fall of the Berlin Wall. An ordinary day in the life of three characters, before anti-immigrant riots in the city of Rostock climaxed in the so-called “Night of Fire”, when 3.000 neo-Nazis set a shelter housing 150 Vietnamese refugees ablaze. Stefan and his friends, young, angry and unemployed, wait impatiently for nightfall, when the lootings and clashes with the police begin. Lien, a young Vietnamese woman who has settled in Germany, wonders if this place can really become her new home. Stefan’s father Martin, an ambitious local politician, is trapped in a dilemma: should he advance his career or stand up for his ideals and take responsibility for his son’s actions?
- KINEMA Award - Braunschweig IFF
- Special Jury Award - Sofia IFF
- Best Director - Voices FF
- Lola for Best Supporting Actor, Joel Basman - German Film Prize
- Best Screenplay, Martin Behnke, Burhan Qurbani - Bayerischer Filmpreis
- Best Leading Actor, Devid Striesow - German Screen Actor Awards
- Audience Award - FF Neu
- Öngören Award, Best Film - Nuernberg FF
- Devid Striesow
- Jonas Nay
- Trang Le Hong
- Joel Basman
- Saskia Rosendahl
- Thorsten Merten
- Paul Gäbler
- David Schütter
- Jakob Bieber
- Gro Swantje Kolhof
- Mai Duong Kieu
- Aaron Le
- Larissa Füchs
- Axel Pape
- Burhan Qurbani
- Martin Behnke
- Yoshi Heimrath
- Julia Karg
- Matthias Sayer
- Tim Ströble
“The old world lies shattered, the new world not yet born – now is the time of monsters.” This quote by Italian writer and politician Antonio Gramsci was perhaps the most important dramatic guideline for our work on WE ARE YOUNG. WE ARE STRONG. Gramsci wrote these words after the disaster of WW I, foreshadowing the catastrophe of WW II. In the ruins of the old system he saw the seeds of new violence. Our film is set in such a time of transition. In 1992, Germany was newly reunited, the socialist East German regime had collapsed and the power – and ideological — vacuum allowed destructive right-wing forces to flourish. We also face a fundamental crisis today. In 2008 our economic system crashed. And sadly, the two ugly daughters of crises – intolerance and xenophobia – are now on the rise all over Europe. 20 years after the actual events, this is the first film about the attempted genocide in Rostock. Our film tells the story of the monsters, their victims, and the people who chose to ignore them. We wanted to give the monsters a human face, look them in the eye and understand.
- BETA CINEMA
- UFA FICTION
- ZDF DAS KLEINE FERNSEHSPIEL/MAINZ
- CINE PLUS FILMPRODUKTION/BERLIN
A tasteful black and white and sophisticated camera movements,
The most interesting thing about the film is... the portrait of a generation derailed by the collapse of the old socialist nanny-state values.
I think comedy is the master class of filmmaking. And from this I am still years away.
Burhan Qurbani (1980) grew up as a child of Afghan refugees. In 2002, Qurbani started studying film directing at the Filmakademie Baden-Württemberg. He worked on several shorts and won many prizes at film festivals all over the world. For his last short film, ILLUSION (2007), he won the 2008 German Film Critics short film award and received the Black Pearl for Best Upcoming Filmmaker of the year at the 2008 Middle East IFF. Qurbani’s first feature film, SHAHADA (2010), screened in the main competition at the Berlinale and won the Golden Hugo at the Chicago IFF. Burhani’s second feature film WE ARE YOUNG. WE ARE STRONG (2014) had its premiere as the opening film in competition at the 2014 Rome IFF. The film also screened at Tribeca FF, Rotterdam IFF and many other international festivals. The film was notably nominated for Best Picture and Best Cinematography at the 2015 LOLA’s (German Film Awards) and won the LOLA for Best Supporting Actor. His most recent film BERLIN ALEXANDERPLATZ (2020) premiered at Berlinale's Competition section.