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'Dying To Survive': Review

As the biggest domestic grosser of the year to date.

Internationally, the film has considerable potential in specialty markets, especially with audiences who have been deterred by the perceived propagandist slant of China’s recent blockbusters.

In this fictionalised take on Lu’s story, the smuggler is not a patient but a divorced salesman named Cheng Yong (Xu) who is fighting for custody of his young son. Struggling to make ends meet with his Indian health supplements store, he agrees to go into the medicine trade for purely financial reasons. Still, he soon forms friendships with the patients who become his business partners: Lv Shouyi (Wang Chuanjun), a new father who wants to stay alive for his son, Priest Liu (Yang Xinming) who serves as Cheng’s English language translator when dealing with the Indian supplier, and surly but sensitive youth “Yellow Hair” (Zhang Yu). There’s also pole dancer Liu Sihui (Tan Zhuo) who has a sickly child and coordinates a network of patients through her social media network.