I Am What I Am
Original title: Xiong shi shao nian
German title: Ich bin was ich bin
Ah-juan and his two friends no longer want to be outsiders in their provincial town. The young people come from socially disadvantaged and discriminated groups. One day they decide to become famous as lion dance artists and apply for the championship in Guangzhou. The traditional dance performances require incredible concentration and strength, but also playful grace despite the elaborate and heavy costumes. The highlight of any acrobat’s career is participating in the extremely tough Guangzhou competition, where the winners will receive considerable rewards. The three boys even find a coach who is to prepare them for the competition: Quiang, a former star of the scene, who now works as a fish salesman. He gives the team its name: “Salted Fish”. Quiang trains them so well that they soon become successful and fancy their chances of competing in Guangzhou. But when Ah-juan’s father suffers a serious accident, the boy has to give up lion dancing to feed the family. A successful participation of “Salted Fish” in the contest thus remains uncertain.