Screened as part of NZIFF 2004

Dealer 2004

Directed by Bence Fliegauf

Hungary In English, German and Hungarian with English subtitles
135 minutes CinemaScope

Director, Screenplay


Péter Szatmári


Károly Szalai


Raptors’ Kollektíva


Felícián Keresztes
Barbara Thurzó
Anikó Szigeti
Edina Balogh


Berlin 2004


In portraying a day in the life of a drug dealer, this remarkable second feature from young Hungarian filmmaker Benedek Fliegauf seems almost single-mindedly intent on dragging its audience into a hazy drug-induced world of queasiness and paranoia. Dealer feels more like a seance than the usual clichéd trip into the harsh realities of the drug trade. We witness a string of increasingly odd and baroque encounters between the eponymous dealer and the people who surround him: the comatose leader of a religious sect, a drug-dependent solo mother, his grieving and deranged father… the glimmer of hope is a young girl who may or may not be his daughter. Sickly and drained of life, these people, with few exceptions, are truly the waking dead. With its long, slow-burning takes which completely encircle the actors, and hauntingly rhythmic background noises (strange and disturbing chanting, devilish television babble, a cat’s purr which vibrates through the theatre), the film’s mise en scène is completely otherworldly. — MM