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WE ARE YOUNG. WE ARE STRONG. (WIR SIND JUNG. WIR SIND STARK.)

WE ARE YOUNG. WE ARE STRONG.
photo © Stephan Rabold/UFA Fiction GmbH

It is impossible to forget the images from the 24th August 1992 when, in the eastern German city of Rostock, a rampaging mob, to the applause and cheering of more than 3,000 bystanders, besieged and set fire to a residential building containing, among others, more than 120 Vietnamese men, women and children on what has since become known as "The Night Of The Fire."

The riots became a symbol for xenophobia in the just recently reunited Germany.

WE ARE YOUNG. WE ARE STRONG. recounts the incident from the perspectives of three very different characters. Lien is a Vietnamese woman who settled in Germany, but at the end of the day she will be fighting for her life wondering if the place she called home could ever be one for her. Stefan and his friends are part of the night’s violent turmoil. Young and angry, bored during the daytime, they look forward to the nightly riots and clashes with the police and foreigners. Unable to cope with his grief at the loss of a friend, Stefan gets lost in a circle of violence. Stefan’s father Martin is an ambitious local politician, trapped in a dilemma: does he advance his career or stand up for his ideals and take responsibility, which includes that for his son?


Burhan Qurbani 's family fled Afghanistan in 1979, seeking political asylum in Germany. After finishing school in Stuttgart, he worked in the theater as a dramatist's assistant and later as a director's assistant. In 2002, he enrolled at the Filmakademie Baden-Württemberg to study Directing. His short films have been screened at festivals around the world and won numerous prizes including the German Camera Award and the German Film Critics' Award in 2008 for ILLUSION (2007). The same year he was honored with the Black Pearl for Best Newcomer of the Year from the Middle East International Film Festival. SHAHADA (2010), his graduation project and feature debut, premiered in the competition of the Berlinale (2010) and won, among other awards, the Golden Hugo in Chicago.
Genre Drama
Category Feature
Year of Production 2014
Director Burhan Qurbani
Screenplay Burhan Qurbani, Martin Behnke
Cinematography Yoshi Heimrath
Cast Devid Striesow, Jonas Nay, Trang Le Hong, Joel Basman, Saskia Rosendahl, Thorsten Merten, Paul Gäbler, David Schütter, Jakob Bieber, Gro Swantje Kohlhof, Mai Duong Kieu, Aaron Le, Larissa Füchs, Axel Pape
Producers Jochen Laube, Leif Alexis
Co-Producers Frank Evers, Helge Neubronner
Production Company UFA Fiction/Ludwigsburg, in co-production with ZDF Das kleine Fernsehspiel, in cooperation with ARTE, cine plus Filmproduktion, UFA Cinema/Potsdam
Length 116 min
Format DCP, color, b&w, 1:2.39
Original Version
 German
Subtitled Versions English, French
Festivals Rome 2014, Hof 2014, Göteborg 2015, Aubagne 2015, Sofia 2015, Tribeca 2015, Edinburgh 2015, VOICES Vologda 2015, SANFIC 2015, Taipei Golden Horse 2015, Yerevan 2016
Awards SIGNIS Award, AMC Best Editing & Sorriso diverson Roma 2014 Award Rome 2014, International Jury Special Award Sofia 2015, German Film Award 2015 (Best Supporting Actor), Best Direction VOICES Vologda 2015
With backing from Mitteldeutsche Medienförderung, Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg, Nordmedia, BKM, German Federal Film Fund, Jerusalem International Film Lab
German Distributor Zorro Film/Munich

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