2014 ( New Zealand) (Drama)
Starring: Cliff Curtis, James Rolleston, Kirk Torrance
Director: James Napier Robertson
The Dark Horse is an inspiring true story based on the life of a charismatic, brilliant but little-known New Zealand Hero and chess champion – Genesis Potini. Genesis. a chess prodigy, suffers a breakdown, spends years in and out of psychiatric hospitals then finds peace teaching deprived kids how to play chess. The film explores the damaging, uber-masculine gang culture that exists on the fringes of Maori culture, using chess as a simple but effective metaphor for the struggles Potini and his young charges face in the everyday battlefield of life.
It’s a film with the texture and truth of life, and at its heart is a beautiful performance by Cliff Curtis, who never in a million years will be nominated for an Oscar, but deserves one.