Boyo lives with his brother Sid, his sister Gwenny and their elderly mother Marlene in an economically depressed area of South-West Wales. Their father has vanished when they were small ... See full summary »

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Cast

Credited cast:
...
Mam
...
Sid
...
Boyo
...
Gwenny
Pascal Laurent ...
Clem
...
Cat
Islwyn Morris ...
Roger the Pop
Brian Hibbard ...
Wally
...
The Head (as Steven Speirs)
...
Molloy
...
Matty
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Andrew Lennon ...
Off licence Man
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Storyline

Boyo lives with his brother Sid, his sister Gwenny and their elderly mother Marlene in an economically depressed area of South-West Wales. Their father has vanished when they were small children, apparently headed for America. The leather-jacketed, motorbike-riding Sid has grown up obsessed with American culture and dreams of joining his father in the States. When the brothers discover that an open-cast mine is opening nearby they join the scramble for jobs, but their mother is unaccountably against the idea. On the morning when they need to report for work, they find she has sabotaged Sid's bike, scuppering their chances of employment. Sid and Gwenny begin to spend more and more of their considerable spare time together, washing down medication they've obtained under their mother's name with pilfered booze. Marlene's increasingly eccentric behaviour leads to her being interred in a hospital, but Boyo is powerless to stop his brother and sister from drifting dangerously out of touch ... Written by Peter Brynmor Roberts

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independent film | See All (1) »

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Drama

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Release Date:

10 October 1997 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

To spiti tou amerikanikou oneirou  »

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Soundtracks

She's A Lady
Written by Paul Anka
Performed by Tom Jones
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User Reviews

 
A bleak, artistic and interesting film on cultural identity
19 May 2001 | by (Cardiff, Wales) – See all my reviews

Written by controversial Welsh theatre director Ed Thomas "House of America" is a rather complex and artistic film with some interesting points to make about Welsh cultural identity. Set in a remote rural Welsh town the film tells the story of a rather warped family obsessed with the all things American. The characters are fed up with their boring, mundane existence in their remote South Wales community and fantasise about leaving for America to live with their father who supposedly left Wales to chase his dreams in the land of opportunity. However not all is as it seems and the truth is all too condemning for those who live in a dream like bubble of consciousness constructed from their fantasies of American literature. The horror of reality is too difficult to accept for the condemned hero of the film Sid and his Sister Gwenny who take on the personas of the American writer Jack Kerouac and his relationship with Joyce Johnson. The results are catastrophicly destructive as the truth of their reality slowly emerges to haunt them, and their disillusioned lives begin to fall apart. Ed Thomas has some interesting if not clichéd points to make about how we are all rapped up in the media culture of America and how Wales has no real cultural identity of its own. The usual Welsh stereotypes are dismissed as being artificially constructed and ultimately fake, there are no happy mining communities, no sheep no daffodils or rolling green hills in this film, just an empty void which is filled by borrowing off American culture which is ultimately all lies. An artistic, cleverly constructed film well worth watching if you can stand its dark and depressing nature. -Stuart Hall


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