Second feature film by German-Turkish director Thomas Arslan (Ferien, Aus der Ferne), and a rough diamond of the first generation of the so-called ‘Berlin School’. Can is a young and smart upstart; he dreams of a small...展开family but the money that fuels this dream comes from the streets. Can is a dealer, he works for Hakan who is supplying the kids in his neighbourhood with drugs. And while Can struggles to get control over his life he sees his girl friend, the mother of his kid, leaving and himself increasingly surrounded by false friends. On top of it, a cop (Birol Ünel, the male lead from Fatih Akin’s “Gegen die Wand) is on his back trying to persuade Can to work undercover for the police. The more Can attempts to free himself, the deeper he sinks into a life he never aspired to.
“Dealer” uses the form of the gangster film for a superb character study of a young man on his way down. It’s a bleak film, as most of the Berlin School films, but Arslan’s precision is astonishing. His framing of the action (or rather non-action) is almost geometrical, Arslan has a keen eye for space – space that is mostly empty in his film. His characers are lost in the city, although they are never alone. Abandoning all conventional mumbo jumbo like character psychology or empathy, “Dealer” remains as erratic as his main protagonist. It was Arslan’s second film of his 'Berin Trilogy' and the first of his films critics described as ‘Bressonian’. It is nothing but true. “Dealer” displays an honesty and depth that is rarely seen in German cinema. Arslan was never this good again.