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Tough Enough (Knallhart)

Tough Enough
Scene from "Tough Enough" (photo © Boje Buck Produktion GmbH)

Fifteen-year-old Michael Polischka is thrown into the gritty urban world of a rough ethnic neighborhood, far from the posh suburbs he’s used to. Beatings and extortion by a gang of violent bullies makes public high school miserable for Michael. Life at home isn’t much better since he has to put up with the guys his pretty young mom entertains in her desperate search for a new man. Michael’s life turns around when urbane crime lord Hamal takes him under his wing. Michael’s honest face makes him the perfect guy for drug deliveries to local dealers. The teenager handles the tension of these dangerous missions like a pro. Michael proves he’s tough enough, but eventually finds out he’s actually in way over his head.


Detlev Buck was born in 1962 and made his fame as an actor, director and screenwriter at the age of 22. His short film TIME TO KNOCK OFF quickly became a cult classic. His first feature as a director was RABBIT FEVER, which won the Bavarian Film Prize. He followed this up with NO MORE MR. NICE GUY, which garnered an honorable mention at the Berlinale and two German Film Awards. His next film, JAILBIRDS, which he directed and starred in, made stars of the two female leads, Heike Makatsch and Marie Bäumer. In 2004, he won the German Film Award as Best Supporting Actor for his role in BERLIN BLUES (dir: Leander Haußmann). His other works as a director include: TOUGH ENOUGH and HANDS OFF MISSISSIPPI, both of which won German Film Awards in several categories, SAME SAME BUT DIFFERENT, MEASURING THE WORLD, and all three BIBI & TINA films.
Genre Drama
Category Feature
Year of Production 2006
Director Detlev Buck
Screenplay Zoran Drvenkar, Gregor Tessnow
Cinematography Kolja Brandt
Dirk Grau
Udo Kramer
Cast David Kross, Jenny Elvers, Hans Löw, Arnel Taci, Kai Michael Mueller, Erhan Emre, Oktay Oezdemir, Kida Khodr Ramadan
Producer Claus Boje
Production Company Boje Buck Produktion/Berlin, in co-production with WDR, ARTE
Length 98 min
Format 35 mm, color
Original Version
 German
Subtitled Versions English, Spanish
Sound Technology Dolby SRD
Festivals Berlin 2006 (Panorama), Shanghai 2006, Karlovy Vary 2006, European Film Fest Palic 2006, Warsaw 2006, Ghent 2006, Cinéma Tout Ecran Geneva 2006, Manaki Brothers Bitola 2006, Cairo 2006, Tallinn Black Nights 2006, Havana 2007
Awards FIPRESCI Award, Label Europa Cinemas Award Berlin 2006, German Film Awards 2006 (Silver Best Film, Best Editing, Best Music), Palic Tower Award for Unique Artistic Approach 2006, Bronze Camera 300 Bitola 2006
With backing from German Federal Film Board, BKM, Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg
German Distributor Delphi Filmverleih/Berlin

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