We Are Young. We Are Strong

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    We Are Young. We Are Strong

    Wir Sind Jung. Wir Sind Stark

    Directed by

    Germany

    2014

    127 min

    Drama

    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?

    Awards

    Show All Awards Show Less Awards
    • 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

    Festivals

    Labels & Line Ups

    Credits

    Cast
    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
    Screenplay
    Burhan Qurbani
    Martin Behnke
    Cinematography
    Yoshi Heimrath
    Editing
    Julia Karg
    Music
    Matthias Sayer
    Tim Ströble

    Director's Statement

    “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.

    Sales
    BETA CINEMA
    Production
    UFA FICTION
    Production
    ZDF DAS KLEINE FERNSEHSPIEL/MAINZ
    Production
    ARTE/STRASBOURG
    Production
    CINE PLUS FILMPRODUKTION/BERLIN

    Press

    A tasteful black and white and sophisticated camera movements,

    Vittoria Scarpa, Cineuropa

    The most interesting thing about the film is... the portrait of a generation derailed by the collapse of the old socialist nanny-state values.

    Lee Marshall, Screen Daily

    Burhan Qurbani

    Burhan Qurbani

    Germany

    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 International Film Festival. Qurbani’s first feature film, SHAHADA, screened in the main competition at the 2010 Berlinale and won the Golden Hugo at the Chicago International Film Festival. 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 International Film Festival. The film also screened at Tribeca Film Festival, International Film Festival Rotterdam 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 project BERLIN ALEXANDERPLATZ won the Eurimages Co-Production Development Award at CineMart 2016.

    Selected Filmography