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Section: Spotlight on Hong Kong
Premiere: Hawaii Premiere
Director: Lawrence Ah Mon | Year: 2017 | Runtime: 101m
Country: Hong Kong SAR China | Language: Cantonese, with English subtitles
Genre: Action, Crime & Gangster, Drama
Set in the 1970s and early '80s, Lawrence Lau’s action-packed crime saga tells the true story of a reformed drug dealer who struggles for redemption from his perilous past. Chen Hua, among his friends known as “Cheater Hua,” starts stealing cars and selling drugs with his two best friends at the age of 16. Over the years, he continues to spiral into the deeper crime webs of the city, where he both sells and uses narcotics until he is ultimately caught and sent to prison. Once released, Hua swears to turn his life around, and becomes the leading counselor at a rehab facility. But his path to redemption comes with baggage from the past—a feud over territories in the city, the health of one of his dear friends, and an old love whom he abandoned years before.
Moving like a high-speed freight train, DEALER/HEALER is directed with period flair and zest—that hair, those clothes!—and lead actor Sean Lau (Lau Ching Wan) conveys the complex trajectory of Hua's life with style and nuance, ably supported by fellow cast members including Louis Koo and Gordon Lam.