"WE ARE YOUNG. WE ARE STRONG“ : Film screening + Meet the Director

"WE ARE YOUNG. WE ARE STRONG“ : Film screening + Meet the Director

Date: 29 / 10 / 2015 (Thur)

It is our pleasure to has an opportunity to collaborate with Goethe-Institut. On 29th October, OGE and Goethe-Institut are going to co-present the campus-screening of the renowned German film “We are young. We are strong” by Burhan Qurbani. The theme of GE Salon this year is freedom, and the film “We are young. We are strong” is highly relevant to it. Hope that the screening followed with a talk by the director can really inspire our students and colleagues, to think more deeply on the issues of global justice and freedom.

The Film

In August of 1992, three years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, anti-immigrant riots are taking place in the East German city of Rostock. The target of the attacks is a refugee shelter on the outskirts of the city. After three days of riots, rampage and violence the events escalate and climax in the so called “Night of the Fire” when 3000 rioters, neo-Nazis and bystanders set ablaze the shelter with 150 Vietnamese refugees inside.

WE ARE YOUNG. WE ARE STRONG recounts these true events 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. Stefan's father MARTIN is an ambitious local politician, trapped in a dilemma: does he advance his career or stand up for his ideals?

The Director

Burhan Qurbani’s family fled Afghanistan in 1979, seeking political asylum in Germany. One year after the Qurbani family arrived in Germany, Burhan was born. After finishing school in Stuttgart, Burhan 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). 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.

Director's Note

“WE ARE YOUNG. WE ARE STRONG tells the story of the monsters, their victims and the people who choose to ignore them. But the movie approaches the frightening and incomprehensible event, through the personal and emotional stories of individuals. We want to give the monster a human face, look him in the eyes and see. To understand, to remember, to never forget, to never let it happen again.” – Burhan Qurbani