Dealer (1998)

Genres - Drama  |   Sub-Genres - Urban Drama  |   Run Time - 72 min.  |   Countries - Germany   |   MPAA Rating - NR
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Thomas Arslan, a second generation Turkish director living in Germany, explores the drug culture in the Turkish "guest worker" community in Berlin. Can (Yigit Tamer) is a small time drug dealer in charge of clients in a small area. He is not happy with his situation, but he doesn't know how to change it. He is constantly trying to reconcile the irreconcilable elements in his life: drugs, family, street violence and love. When his boss Hakan promises to make him a bar manager, his hopes are raised. But Hakan is in no hurry to keep his promise. Can's world starts falling apart. The police are after him, his girlfriend Jale leaves him and takes their daughter along, Hakan is killed during an argument, and Can tries to take a regular job as a kitchen helper but can't stand the humiliation. He goes back to his old life and gets arrested by the police. He is condemned to four years in prison, but he still cannot grasp his situation. Dealer is the second part of a trilogy about teenagers of Turkish descent which began with Siblings. However, it is not a direct follow-up, but a continuation on a related topic. Some of the same actors appear in both films. Contrary to the documentary style of Siblings, Dealer describes a mental condition, the inner world of the protagonist. To that end, it uses a minimalist style with very little dialogue. The locale is anonymous -- run-down neighborhoods in an industrial city, which are contrasted with bright summer colors. The film is often reminiscent of Robert Bresson's L'Argent. Dealer received the FIPRESCI (Federation of International Film Critics) Award for the International Forum of New Cinema section of the 49th International Berlin Film Festival, 1999, for its "respectful portrayal of alienated characters and treatment of conventional yet difficult subjects in a visually arresting and vivid manner."



drugs, Germany, immigrant, Turkish [nationality], worker, city, job