SXSW 2017: Dealt Review by Ashley Menzel
The story of Richard Turner is inspirational and incredible. Richard Turner is a card mechanic who works tricks with cards. He has done it his entire life and is a master in the field. What people think makes this amazing is the fact that he is blind, but what makes his story so amazing is that he has spent his life working to be the best in his field and just so happens to be legally blind. Luke Korem‘s documentary, Dealt, takes us on a journey with Richard as we learn about his past, his family, his blindness and his life today.
In the film, we are introduced to Richard, and we learn about the loss of his sight. He has an eye disease that slowly took his vision away and left him blind. He had to manage losing his eyesight slowly from a very young age and was turned on to card tricks by a teacher. This fascinated him and kept him focused on the cards. Richard didn’t stop there with cards. He would challenge himself in different ways by doing things people said he shouldn’t. He even completed and received his black belt in karate, not by a sympathy honor but by competing in the same fight that every black belt before him had complete.
As he aged, he lost his sight completely but had his wife, sister, and son to help him along. Richard travels to do various demonstrations and shows and gets to meet people from all over. His son, Asa is a huge help in his life but must also move out to pursue his direction by heading to college. This a surprisingly emotional scene as Richard must say goodbye to his son.
What makes Dealt a stand out film is not the fact that Richard is blind but the fact that he has accomplished so much, but also continues to grow as a person. Director Luke Korem handled the subject with such respect and dignity and as a result created a truly memorable film. By the end of the film, he is accepting his blindness as a weakness and says we all have weaknesses and need to take help from others. Richard’s story is inspirational and moving. His approach to his life and success is something to be admired, and Dealt gives his story a voice and one that is sure to inspire all who see it.