You Live and Burn is a gritty and powerful documentary film about two Roma siblings on the verge of adulthood. The film is a story about the search for ones identity and about finding one’s path in life. For the main characters of the film, Mirella and Benjamin, Romani culture symbolises the shackles that prevent them from getting on with their lives. These two young people question the rules and regulations that the mother of the family still swears by.
You Live and Burn begins at Christmas and ends at Christmas. At the beginning of the film, Mirella´s life has no direction; she lives by night and sleeps by day. Benjamin receives death threats because he will not accept the traditional role of a male Roma. A lot happens during the year, and our protagonists meet different kinds of people who try to help them start an independent life. However, making their own decisions is hard; grim childhood memories surface and even their own mother gives them a hard time. Still, joy and hope can be found in neighbourly love and caring for one another. You Live and Burn fights for the right to listen to ones heart and for the right of expression.
M.A. Iiris Härmä was born in 1970 in Finland. She studied ethnology and
cultural studies at the University of Turku. She has also studied
documentary film in The New School University and Film/ Video Art in New
York. Since 1996 She has worked as producer and assistant director in
several documentary films. Her directing debut was TOMORROW'S MEMORIES - a
poetic short documentary about lamenting. YOU LIVE AND BURN is her first
feature length film.
Director: Iiris Härmä
Production: Visa Koiso-Kanttila/Guerilla Films
Duration: 69 min
Country: Finland, 2007