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House Is Burning, The

House Is Burning, The
Scene from "The House Is Burning" (photo © Reverse Angle International)

One day. One night.

A group of teenagers struggles to find their way in a world that offers them few choices.

In 24 hours, Mike will leave for the army, following in his father's footsteps. His last day around family and friends turns into a war of emotions. His girlfriend Valerie, angry at him for leaving, rejects him. As he grapples with her decision, his friends are making their own bids for a better life. Phil, a smalltime drug dealer, is working for the big score that will set him up for good. Terry is trying to enter a corporate world she's unprepared for, but already understands the corruption the system asks for. Steve wants to free himself from his abusive father, decides to kill him and tries to get a gun. As the story unfolds, frustration erupts in a night of shattering violence, self-destruction and self-discovery.
A closely photographed, metaphorical kaleidoscope of characters on the brink of growing up, facing the need to build a future, facing the past. A conflict of generations, lost dreams and shattered lives. A search for love, acknowledgement, acceptance, a future. The House is Burning is at once a warning and a promise.


Holger Ernst was born in 1972 and studied Visual Communication at the Academy of Art Kassel, specializing in Screenwriting and Directing. He won the Hesse Prize for Best Screenplay 2000 for his script Das Leben geht weiter (Life Goes On). His other award-winning films include: Argus (short, 1997), Der blaue Engel oder das Leben der Martha S. (documentary short, 1998), Kleistronik (short, 1999), Little Fish (Kleine Fische, 2000), Do You Love Me? (Liebst Du Mich?, 2001), Natur Pur (short, 2003), Rain Is Falling (2004), and his feature debut The House Is Burning (2006).
Genre Drama
Category Feature
Year of Production 2006
Director Holger Ernst
Screenplay Holger Ernst
Cinematography Stefan Grandinetti
Silke Botsch, Mathias Schnöningh
Markus Glunz
Amanda Ford
Cast Joe Petrilla, Robin Taylor, Nicole Vicius, Julianne Michelle, Harley Adams, John Diehl, Melissa Leo
Producers Alex Gibney, Peter Schwartzkopff, Wim Wenders, Katja Siegel
Production Company Reverse Angle International/Hamburg
Length 97 min
Dubbed Versions German
Original Version
 Multi-lingual
Subtitled Versions English, German
Sound Technology Dolby
Festivals Cannes 2006 (Special Screening)
With backing from Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg, Filmfoerderungsanstalt (FFA)
German Distributor Reverse Angle Pictures/Berlin

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