House of America (1997)

Genres - Drama  |   Sub-Genres - Melodrama, Psychological Drama  |   Run Time - 96 min.  |   Countries - United Kingdom  |   MPAA Rating - NR
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Synopsis by Mark Deming

This downbeat Welsh drama is set in a mining town that's been crushed by an economic collapse. Sid (Steven MacKintosh), Gwenny (Lisa Palfrey), and Boyo (Matthew Rhys) are three grown siblings who must care for their emotionally unstable mother (Sian Phillips) as they try to scrape together a living. Fascinated with American culture, the siblings emulate the hard-living lifestyle of the Beat Generation authors of the 1950s; their mother has told them that their father moved to the United States 15 years ago, and they often write him, hoping to someday join him there. However, he never returns their messages, and no one can explain why. Desperate for money, Sid and Boyo learn that a coal mine in a nearby town is looking for workers, but their mother is terrified that her children will abandon her and begs them not to go. Eventually, Gwenny and Sid, both desperate for comfort, fall into an incestuous relationship. House of America was the first theatrical feature for director Marc Evans after a number of television films; he was the recipient of the "Best Directorial Debut" award at the 1997 Stockholm Film Festival.



mining-town, mother, sibling, unemployment