An official Marquee International Film Festival selection
New Zealand |124 min |DCP |Dir. James Napier Robertson
Considered the best New Zealand film ever made, THE DARK HORSE is based on the true story of brilliant Maori speed- chess champion, Genesis Potini, who, in seeking redemption and a new purpose in life despite his struggles with bipolar disorder, volunteers to teach a group of disadvantaged children how to play the game. Upon his release from an institution, he is remanded into the custody of his older brother Ariki, the leader of a rough street gang planning the initiation of Gen's reluctant teenage nephew Mana. When Gen volunteers to coach the ragtag young members of the Eastern Knights chess club, Mana is inspired by his uncle's determination to bring hope to the children of the club and turn his troubled life around, while seeing it as a chance to possibly save his own.
"THE DARK HORSE” is as good a title as any for a film that takes an overplayed genre — the inspirational mentor story — and still manages to surprise, sneaking up to deliver a powerful emotional experience within a formula we all know by heart."-Peter Debruge, Variety