Dying to Survive (2018) Poster

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9/10
The film discusses the grey areas under Chinese drug control and the boundary between law and human feelings.
evan910311 July 2018
This is one of the best Chinese movies in history. The film discusses the grey areas under Chinese drug control and the boundary between law and human feelings. The whole movie has promoted the Chinese society's reflection on the control of drugs for the treatment of severe diseases and the excessively high price. to some extent, it also satirizes the inadequacy of the Chinese government in related issues. in fact, after the movie hit, people enthusiastically discussed related issues on the internet, which has also prompted the Chinese government to further make more positive changes to the inadequacy of current drug control. Such movie themes are rare under the current control system of the Chinese government for movie and TV creation themes. I don't understand at all that one of the comments written by IMDB user thebigsick thinks that the theme of this movie is a cliche, and even thinks that this movie has won good public praise and attention purely by means of propaganda and hype. Sorry, I can't understand why you think that way. The theme of this movie alone is worth thumbs up. Almost all Chinese movies will use a lot of online publicity before and at the beginning of their release. this is a commercial movie, there is no problem with doing so. However, not all movies will gain a good reputation because of hype. if the movie itself is very bad, and only depends on a lot of publicity and hype in the early stage. in less than three days, it will get a lot of bad reviews. Because the audience is not a fool. This movie scored 8.9 points on the well-known Chinese film review website douban movie ( you can understand it as China's IMDB, douban movie is a platform with a lot of credibility in China. many people will refer to douban's score before deciding whether to spend money on a movie,only a very small number of Chinese movies can score more than 7 points on douban ).Within a week of this movie's release, it has accumulated 1.8 billion RMB ( about 27 million us dollars ) in box office. Whether you like it or not, this proves that it is a good movie. So the user thebigsick didn't understand the real meaning of this movie at all, or why Chinese people think it is a good movie.
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9/10
Not a beautiful story
sylenas7 July 2018
Not a beautiful story, but it is one of my favourite Chinese movies so far, From what I know, this one is based on a real story with some rearrangement. Xu Zheng and Ning Hao are very creative filmers. Constrained by the influence Chinese government, a lot of themes are not allowed to be filmed in mainland China. However, this one obviously neatly sidestepped the conflicts with government.
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India-China Movie Takes On Swiss Drug Company
avery-125 July 2018
Dying to Survive, a 2018 Chinese drama based on the real-life story of Lu Yong, a Chinese leukemia patient who bought cheap cancer medicine from India for 1000 Chinese cancer sufferers in 2004. It's called a comedy-drama but there's just a little comic relief in an otherwise very serious movie. It's also called a noir comedy, which gives a greater idea what you're in for. It's very moving and realistic. The film is loosely based on the story of Lu, who has been regarded as a hero of sorts for importing and selling less expensive anticancer drugs from India to Chinese for CML patients charged huge prices by a Swiss pharmaceutical giant.
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10/10
The soul on the balance
michaelsundmlis13 July 2018
It's not related to the politic correctness of Chinese government. It's just the trade-off between the pharmaceutical companies and the patients.

Higher drug price -> Companies gets more money -> More drug researched -> better drug produced and the old drug price drop. It is a chain of the free market in theory.However, that's why the theory is always in theory.

Yes we will finally get the market balance of the drug price when the drug matches the average buying power. However, how many people would die before and after it? Can we really put the lives and souls onto the balance?

Was it worth it? (Yes you are right, I am playing Frostpunk:)
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10/10
One of the best Chinese films I've seen in recent years
aliensqueen22 July 2018
Combined with partial reality, with great written and brilliant acting, one of the best films I've ever seen in recent years. Lots of emotional and powerful scenes, recommend for those who would appreciate really good drama/featured films.
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9/10
Fun, emotional and witty
dominicbrady0113 July 2018
A good movie. Some clever parts and an unusual set of characters make for a good watch. I recommend this movie. Some cliche parts but it's based on a true story so fair enough. Quite a feel good movie with some roller coaster emotional parts. Best movie I've seen in a while. Having said that it's not exactly phenomenal or to be held up against the greats but forgetting comparison with other better movies it does well as a standalone movie.
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10/10
It's legal for Novartis to make most money, but illegal for poors to survive
kaizhouxu12 July 2018
Common story for most poor families, cannot afford drug price, finding their own ways to survive. It's illegal but understandable. Drug monopolies like Novartis are way more evil than Monsanto.
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8/10
China style of Funny first and then overwhelmingly touching
m-6528811 July 2018
Warning: Spoilers
I would say..this movie proves the China director of Xu Zheng, talented and insightful. This movie is based on a true event whose protagonist is still "doing his business" after released from jail...

It starts with A middle-aged man with his father in need of his money for operation, his wife planning to take away his child. This man accidentally was introduced to a man with serious cancer who asked his help to smuggle Indian drug to save his life to replace the Swiss extremely expensive one that he cannot afford.

He gradually "imported" and got his first capital from this business. However as he understood more about the truth, he went to his self redemption road and earned himself "the god of cancer drug"...

Quite similar to the Attorney from Korean...but more fun to watch and more releastic in most plots...
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10/10
Great movie and so touching
wangchen61514 July 2018
This is the best movie I have ever seen in China about social conflicts in modern time. I am so glad to see the the young director who is as old as me, daring to challenge the authority's strict review process to reveal something truly matters for people. For a young director who just starts his career, if the movie is banned to go to the theatre, it means the end of his career and he will lose all the trust from the investors. And probably never has the chance to make movies again. However, he chooses to insist on something he believes that truly matters.
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9/10
A feeling from my heart
chenkaorong14 August 2018
This is a realistic movie from China.Realistic meaning is greater than the movie itself.That dying to survive represents the movie theme.the contest between emotion and law,which is a lasting and sharp topic.To a large extent,the theme's overcoming influences and promotes the development of Chinese movies.
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10/10
Some Details you won't want to miss
realpanfengli15 July 2018
Warning: Spoilers
1. Orange. Lv Shouyi always treat others an orange since it is cheap and he believed that vitamin C might help for the disease. 2. Sihui was called to dance by the nightclub man, and Cheng Yong threw a lot of money, letting the nightclub man go dancing. Under the undressing stage, Sihui laughed and shouted the most vigorously, "take off, take off his clothes, take off his pants." The first moment makes me felt good, but it felt very distressed in the second second. I can think about how many times such a scene is faced by Sihui every day. 3. Lü Shouyi took the medicine, one by one, recycled to the bottle, whereas when Peng Hao died, he was crushed by a large truck, and the medicine was scattered all over the place. 4. I have been selling medicines so many years, and I've realized there is only one kind of illness in the world -- poverty. You can't help with it. What's more, there are too many to help. 5. Pastor Liu always told Cheng "God Bless You" in English and when they finally scattered, Liu stared at Cheng for a while and said "God Bless You" in Chinese. 6. Cheng was playing spider card in the beginning, which indicated the year. 7. When Cheng came to Lv's house for the first time, the house was small but had a children's room and a dining room. From the downstairs, it looked like an ordinary residential building. Many households' balconies were sealed and equipped with anti-theft nets. The second time Cheng came to Lv's home, the spirit position was set in the bedroom, next to the bed. If the house still has a living room, it should not be placed in the bedroom. After Cheng went out, it was an empty corridor. It didn't say it in the movie, but I think that after Lv was treated several times, the original house was sold and replaced with a smaller and more cramped place, which also corresponded to the words said by a grandpa to the police officer in the end that "the house is gone". 8. The cheap small hotels where the patients lived together appeared several times in the movie. The first time was Cheng and Lv to sell medicines, the second time was to chase Peng here, the third time the old lady encouraged everyone to have hope. The poverty is suppressed and worn out, and hopes coexist and appear in turn. 9. In the beginning, Cheng huddled in the chair and played spider cards, and thought it is reasonable to not pay the rent. He asked his neighborhood to help, but said in a natural tone: I let you put in your hotel, you have not set? The nursing home boss advised Cheng to bring his father to the hospital for examination. Cheng blows his beard and blinks, pretending knowing everything: doctors were all cheating, even if you didn't get sick, you would see the disease! But he didn't dare to look directly to the boss's eyes. After paying the money, facing the boss's dissatisfaction, he stuffed a pack of cigarettes, nodded, in slick and shabby image. 10. When Zhang was caught, he didn't sell Cheng out. 11. At the beginning of the film, Cheng's father had an hemangioma, He ate porridge and spilt it everywhere. He also deliberately avoided eating. Explain that he was already in serious ill. After Cheng earned money, he arranged surgery for his father. The second time Cheng took his son to visit his father. When the old man was feeding porridge, he was anxious to eat, explaining that his body really improved a lot. 12. Zhang Changlin sold more than ten years of fake medicine, marketing all over the country, making countless money, killing countless people. But when he resold the real medicine, he was caught in less than a year... The movie indicated that the fake medicine was made in starch and so that the cost price was cheap and it was sold cheap too, but Zhang was caught because the real medicine he sold were too expensive for the patients considering the cost price increased.
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9/10
Cried three times
cleopatra-7072127 July 2018
It's a very profound movie shows some hidden problem in China. Very surprised under such censorship we can still uncover this grey area out in China. Love this kind of not-so-fancy but meaningful film that you will keep thinking after watching.
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9/10
A masterpiece.
shawnxia19 November 2018
Not until today did I see this movie. I believe it is going to become a new milestone of China's film industry. The director got his target. Deeply attracting the audience with its touching,humorous and even urban plots. With the actor like Xuzheng and Wangchuanjun representing so perfectly small characters when they are facing choices mattering lives. Thank you all.
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8/10
Dying to Survive
jackson_ro18 November 2018
This film changed my perception towards Xu Zheng as he delivers a truly powerful performance. No doubt the powerful subject helps him, as this is a great story to be made into a film. A milestone movie for China as the subject is impactful and authentic (mostly), and most importantly allowed to be shown. The character development is also very well done and supported by a cast of memorable co-stars. A movie that does not try to reach the stars, and just really wants to tell a great story in its own ways, something many other Chinese films needs to learn from.
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10/10
High costs of medicine is a global problem, this movie should get more exposure
wesseldj-485818 February 2019
It's a shame that this movie doesn't get the international recognition that it deserves. Because unaffordable medicine is a global problem not that of China alone. It's also a problem in first world countries even those with a sophisticated welfare system. It just so happens that it hits third world countries harder because of the wealth gap.

Pharmaceutical companies, mostly western ones holds a monopoly position in the industry and claims that the high costs is needed to fund research of new medicine. How much of that is true is to be debated. Especially when most pharmaceutical companies are listed in the stock exchange, one is left to wonder why the funds for research cannot be collected through stock and shares. And the assumption is easily made that most of the money goes directly as profit into the pockets of the management. Earning money over the bodies of others as they say....

Well done of these chinese film producers to make this issue go public and open for debate, and many other countries should be ashamed for not addressing this subject. The movie is very raw and well shot, with some comedic elements and some very emotional scenes. All of the actors brought their A game and it made you feel as if you were watching a documentary instead of dramatic version of the story which is based on real event.

The overal message is clear, sometimes one have no choice to go against the mainstream, in order to do some good. For all the people concerned they meant well.
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10/10
It is all about what you believe
yiw20006 December 2018
You can tell it is a good movie by ratings, reviews, word of mouths. But you can only tell a great movie by watching it yourself. Because that is the only way it can touch your heart.

And there is no less touching my heart in this movie. All the characters are believable. None of them is perfect, all of them are plain mediocre, some even "bad" on an average scale. However, they show such a harmony and understanding among all of them, you see a unity that quiet but enduring.

The main character went through a rough road of emotional change through the incidents. The moment he came back and decided on the price of the medicine, I saw something in his eye. Something that only someone believes can have. Everything after that is just continuation of that moment, driving by the same belief all these people have.

And who are these people that have such a power after all? I ask myself. Well, my answer is simple, it is everyone, including you and me. Just when we believe.
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9/10
A moving story but not enough
yxyyysdy13 July 2018
First of all, this movie is absolutely a good movie. But it still has a bit regret, the story cloud be more deeper for social and human nature
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9/10
Definitely the best Chinese movie ever
l-7263011 August 2018
Antiheroes are unusual in Chinese movie but this movie's main character, Yong, was a scoundrel smuggler and accidentally became a hero. This movie actually focuses on and not just Chinese medicine problem. It's about humanity and trade-off between legal principles and moral conscience. The theme could be better if it revealed deeper problems but I think it's good enough. Plus I really enjoy the typical Chinese humor.
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9/10
It's real
f-4249523 February 2019
Warning: Spoilers
Cry again and again because it's real thing in China
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10/10
Beyond Good and Evil
angiehenle28 September 2018
It reminds me of Nietzsche's book "Jenseits von Gut und Böse" (beyond good and evil). To understand China and the Chinese people, as well as all the people in developing countries in general, this film is a must, particularly for future business leaders.

Synopsis: Yong (courage in Chinese) is a medicine smuggler who illegally smuggled fake cancer medicines from India. Nevertheless for thousands of poor patients who could never afford the same effect real pills from Germany, his "business" provided them the only hope to live on. So is he an IP criminal or is he a human savor? Which should we obey, the external law or our own conscience?

Get ready for some tears and laughter! This film is bitter sweet.
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10/10
This is a nice movie
dingyixinxiang22 August 2018
Ok, that's very nice. I love the movie which name wo bu shi yao shen .
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9/10
Worth the time, really touching movie and important topics.
divg-57-80005415 August 2019
This is a movie about how much patents and pharmaceutics can be over the life of people. It has a good message and critic about most countries health systems, government and market. It´s based on a real story, so, this is a relevant movie. Easy to watch, you wont be bored.
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An unbearable bore
TheBigSick1 July 2018
The whole movie is an unendurable combination of cliches that don't add up or become interesting at any point. The discretely repeated attempts at delivering overused social messages makes it even worse. Even those messages are shallow in content, irrelevant to the movie and extremely unoriginal just as the story itself. I hoped during the movie that it would get better at some point but it went just worse. For those who are aware of these issues this is just a pretentious attempt and for the rest they don't care or won't get that message from a movie like this one.

I witnessed one of the worst movies of all time. You can't blame a movie for receiving overwhelming public attention but this clearly shows the demise of the movie industry as such movies can be produced and marketed just because of the exploitation of the social issues, and audiences getting revenge and amplify the message with their own means. Engineering the marketing of overrated films became the norm. Most of these pictures are not even worth a second view. This one doesn't even deserve to be watched.
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8/10
Just a ordinary film
g-1467714 July 2018
In fact this film has caused much quarrle in china Many chinese say it perfectly reflects the phenomenon that many poor people cannot pay the expensive medicine But if ignore its purport it just so so in other respects And the film take so many ways to arouse people's feelings that its purport is more like a way to attach attention instead of appeal ling the government to do some changes
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9/10
Chinese Schindler
madbird-6124319 April 2019
The scene where patients line up along the street supporting male lead arrested inside the passing police car makes me think of Schindler's list. Jews line up in the grave of Schindler with flowers. Equally powerful plot. Cannot stop my falling tear.

I have no complaint on the acting. But simply it is a bit odd to see the male lead, usually acting in comedy, to do such a serious film. Excellent plot. Reveal not only problem in China, but the greed of multi national drug company. Hope there are more movies reflecting the dark side of China on the way. Hope more care could be given to disabled and sick minorities in China. Movies of this kind can push the advancement of a country.
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