Tough Enough

by Detlev Buck

Tough Enough


Fifteen-year-old Michael Polischka is thrown into a gritty urban world when his mother breaks up with her rich doctor boyfriend. With little money of her own, Miriam is forced to move them into a dumpy apartment in a rough ethnic neighborhood, far from the posh suburbs they had grown accustomed to. Beatings and extortion by a gang of violent bullies makes public high school miser-able 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 learns the ropes about the neighborhood from his likeable new buddies Crille and his younger half-brother Matze, a couple of neglected and undisciplined delinquents. Not only do they give Michael some street smarts, they also introduce him to petty crime, cutting class and drinking. A chance meeting with urbane crime lord Hamal and his henchman Barut turns Michael’s life around. The thugs take him under their wing, protecting him from the high school gang. Michael’s honest face makes him the perfect guy for drug deliv-eries 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 made his fame as an actor, director and screenwriter at the tender age of 22. Following high school and alternate military service, he made the short film »Erst die Arbeit und Dann…?« (Time to Knock Off), which quickly became a cult classic. His first feature as a director was »Karniggels« (Rabbit Fever), which won the Bavarian Film Prize. He followed up with 1993’s »No More Mr. Nice Guy«, which garnered an honorable mention at the Berlin Film Festival and two German Film Prizes. Mr. Buck’s next film, »Jailbirds«, which he directed and starred in, made stars of the two female leads, Heike Makatsch and Marie Bäumer. In 2004, he was awarded The German Film Award in Gold as best supporting actor for his role in »Berlin Blues«, directed by Leander Haußmann. That same year, he played the role of Colonel Kalt in Haußmann’s »NVA«. In the spring of 2005, Mr. Buck completed another role for Mr. Haußmann in the film adaptation of Schiller’s »Love & Intrigue«.
»Tough Enough« is the first feature film Mr. Buck has directed for which he did not also write the script.

Selected Filmography as Director

2006 »Knallhart« (Tough Enough) 
2000 »Liebesluder« (Bundle of Joy) 
1998 »Liebe Deine Nächste« (Love Your Female Neighbor) 
1996 »Männerpension« (Jailbirds) 
1993 »Wir können auch anders« (No More Mr. Nice Guy)

Selected Filmography as Actor

2005 »Kabale & Liebe« (Love & Intrigue) Dir: Leander Haußmann 
2004 »NVA« Dir: Leander Haußmann 
2002 »Herr Lehmann« (Berlin Blues) Dir: Leander Haußmann 
2001 »Blue Moon« Dir: Andrea Dusel
1999 »Sonnenallee« (Sun Alley) Dir: Leander Haußmann 
1999 »Der grosse Bagarotzy« (The Devil and Ms. D.) Dir: Bernd Eichinger
1998 »Aimée & Jaguar« Dir: Max Färberböck


David Kross - Polischka
Jenny Elvers-Elbertzhagen - Miriam Polischka
Erhan Emre - Hamal
Oktay Özdemir - Erol
Kida Khodr Ramadan - Barut
Arnel Taci - Crille
Kai Michael Müller - Matze
Hans Löw - Gerber
Jan Henrik Stahlberg - Dr. Klaus Peters


Director: Detlev Buck
Screenplay: Zoran Drvenkar, Gregor Tessnow
Executive Producer: Claus Boje
Producer for WDR: Michael André
Producer for arte: Andreas Schreitmüller
Line Producers: Sonja Schmitt, Jan Brandt
Casting: Astrid Rosenfeld
Director of Photography: Kolja Brandt
Editor: Dirk Grau
Sound Recordist: Florian Niederleithinger
Production Design: Udo Kramer
Costume Design: Jale Kustaloglu
Original Music: Bert Wrede
Sound design: Dirk Jacob

Technical Data

Format: 35 mm / 24fps / 1:1.85 / Colour / Dolby Digital Srd
Length: 98 min
Original language: German

Original title: Knallhart


Click here for the »Tough Enough« artwork


Tough Enough
Tough Enough

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