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Neither Fish, Nor Fowl (Nicht Fisch, nicht Fleisch)

Neither Fish, Nor Fowl
Ill-Young Kim, Ju-Youn Kim (photo © Deamtool)

Adopted as a baby in Korea and raised in a provincial German town, Michael has two identities. His friends accept him as he is, but the mirror reminds Michael everyday of the hole in his biography which nags at him like an open wound. Who am I? Where are my roots? The questions of a generation which has lost sight of its goals because it has also lost touch with its own points of reference.

When his adoptive parents divorce, Michael suddenly feels lost and runs to his best friend in Berlin. His confrontation with the beautiful Jin Hi forces him to make a decision, for even in Berlin's Korean community he is "neither fish, nor fowl". As a German with no knowledge of the Korean language and tradition, he is damned to live between two cultures. Michael's journey as a stranger in his own land makes him come to the realization that "home" can have many faces. Even that of a loved one ...


Matthias Keilich was born in 1965 in Calw/Baden-Wuerttemberg. After his schooling, he worked as a sculptor in Stuttgart and Freiburg. In 1993, he enrolled in the German Film & Television Academy (dffb) in Berlin where he studied Scriptwriting and Direction. During his studies, he made such films as Wer aussteigt hat verloren (1996), Tod in New York (1996) and Zu (1998), some of which were co-produced by the television broadcasters SAT.1, SFB, 3sat and ZDF. Neither Fish, Nor Fowl (Nicht Fisch, nicht Fleisch, 2001) was his first feature-length film as well as his graduation film from the dffb, followed by Lumber Kings (Die Koenige der Nutzholzgewinnung, 2006).
Genre Drama, Love Story, Coming-of-Age Story
Category Feature
Year of Production 2001
Director Matthias Keilich
Screenplay Matthias Keilich
Cinematography Henning Stirner
Gergana Voigt
Martin Theo Krieger
Martina Bruenner
Cast Ill-Young Kim, Christian Steyer, Ju-Youn Kim, Lisa Kreuzer, Jürgen Lehmann, Robert Drews
Producers Stefan Raiser, Felix Zackor
Production Company Dreamtool Entertainment/Munich, in co-production with ZDF, Deutsche Film- und Fernsehakademie Berlin (DFFB)
Length 90 min
Format Super 16
Original Version
 German
Subtitled Version English
Sound Technology Dolby SR
Festivals Rotterdam 2002, Ophuels-Festival Saarbruecken 2002 (in competition), Los Angeles 2002, b.film + Digital Vision Berlin 2002, Warsaw 2002 (German Panorama), Pusan 2002, Singapore 2003
With backing from FilmFernsehFonds Bayern, BKM

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