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Chiko Review

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Turkish immigrants learn the hard way about drug culture in the rough Hamburg neighbourhood they find themsleves in.

★★★★★

Drug-dealer movies tend to employ a rigid set of clichés. But writer Özgür Yildirim gives his debut feature the sting of authenticity by establishing a credible social milieu in Hamburg’s rundown Dulsberg district before pitching Turkish immigrant Denis Moschitto and best buddy Volkan Özcan into a predictable hell on encountering psychopathic kingpin Moritz Bleibtreu.

Generic convention takes precedent after Bleibtreu teaches Özcan a painful lesson for pilfering hash and Moschitto becomes dazzled by the trappings of coke-peddling. The abrupt brutality of the violence is chilling, but Yildirim loses sight of real life as he shifts from domestic drama to revenge thriller.

Starts in an impressive, genre-subverting manner but then reverts to type a little towards the end.