The Dark Horse

The Dark Horse

DVD - 2014
Average Rating:
Rate this:
9
3
2
 …
"After years in and out of mental institutions, Genesis is released into the care of his older brother Ariki, a street gang leader. When he volunteers to train a group of disadvantaged Maori children for the upcoming National Chess Championships, it puts him at odds with his brother over Ariki's son Mana, whose interest in the game threatens the teen's imminent initiation into his father's violent gang. Despite all odds, Gen's positivity always leads him to search for light, even when the world seems at its darkest"--Container.
Publisher: New Zealand : Four Knights Film/Genesis Pictures Limited, ©2014.
Characteristics: 1 videodisc (124 min.) :,sound, colour ;,12 cm
digital, optical, surround, Dolby Digital 5.1, rda.
videodisc
DVD
video file, DVD video, region 1, rda.

Opinion

From the critics


Community Activity

Comment

Add a Comment
c
chetanka
Apr 23, 2019

Super film! Put me in mind of Kevin Costner's McFarland, USA. That was, of course, about Latino lads shepherded into champion distance runners in Southern California. Now, Cliff Curtis's Dark Horse is about Maori youngsters already experimenting with chess but Coach leads them into perfection. The varied ages as well as both lads and lassies make it more interesting for me. My daughter, the school teacher, opined "Too much swearing!" I replied "Am guessing most of the dialogue was improvised." Still, I find it interesting that the cultures of two countries so far apart in distance are so similar. Kudos to EPL for having this film of which many of us have probably never heard. I discovered it through the APTN which does a remarkable job of telecasting films that our national networks ignore.

b
ba_library
Apr 07, 2019

Good movie based on a real life story. Genesis who is a Maori man dealing with mental health issues decides to volunteer to teach Maori youth chess. It is a bit bittersweet because people shun Gen for is illness and he has to learn to cope with his personal and social issues while also having to deal with others issues such as his brother who is involved with a gang and expects his son to follow him. Genesis was a chess prodigy and he wants to share his love of the game with the kids and hopefully take them to the New Zealand junior chess championship. His nephew joins the chess club but is supposed to be initiated into his father’s gang on the same day as the chess championship. Great performances by the actors and a rather grisly look into one aspect of Maori life. Subtitles are provided when Maori is spoken but you might want to turn on the closed captioning—I had a little difficulty understanding the Maori gangsters.

k
kpelish
Mar 28, 2019

Amazing performance by Cliff Curtis (“Whale Rider”) as Genesis, a champion chess player who's been derailed by mental illness, homelessness, and the stresses of being an uneducated minority (Maori) in a mostly indifferent white New Zealand culture. His gang leader brother, Ariki, reluctantly lets him live at his house where he's surrounded by drugs, violence, and pressure to accept a miserable life (his brother curtly tells him to go on the dole). However, his own optimism, unquenchable love for chess, and growing affection for his at-risk nephew leads him to train an unlikely group of street kids for New Zealand's junior chess championship. The still-intact Maori culture provides them moral strength. This underdog team story has been told before through swim, track, and basketball (see, respectively, “Pride”; “McFarland, USA”; and “Hoosiers”) but the main character here has far larger obstacles to overcome. Note: occasional Maori with English subtitles.

l
Lcshephe48
Jun 01, 2018

Another great movie from New Zealand. I love that its a true story. It's great to see heart felt movies about overcoming the challenges of poverty and mental illness. Watch this.

m
Miller1114
May 11, 2018

I really didn't think I would enjoy this movie as much as I did. Heartwarming. The power of family, the impact of mental illness on the individual and their family, the importance of mentoring youth and a big cry at the end. Loved it!!!

e
erinsnest
Mar 05, 2017

March 5 2017.....It looks like I returned this on Dec 5 2016, but did not make a comment.....I know I enjoyed it!, and will maybe have to watch it again sometime.

m
mikeedm
Jan 15, 2017

This is a great movie that very few people have heard about.

d
deb6
Oct 11, 2016

The Dark Horse is a New Zealand story along the lines of Stand and Deliver. The achievement of success and accolades for a group that came from a situation so lacking in hope is spiritually uplifting.

j
jimg2000
Aug 07, 2016

Universally billed as one of the greatest New Zealand films ever made. Based on the true story on the birth of the Gisborne chess club Eastern Knights by its co-founder, a Maori chess master Genesis Potini. Unlike other uplifting chess club movies as "Brooklyn Castle 2012" and "Life of a King 2013," the director and writer did not spare viewers the harsh reality of struggles and violence faced by underprivileged Maori people of New Zealand

Notices

Add Notices
k
kpelish
Mar 28, 2019

Coarse Language: Yep.

k
kpelish
Mar 28, 2019

Other: Drug use is portrayed as normal. Racism and prejudice against mental illness.

k
kpelish
Mar 28, 2019

Violence: Fist fights; a child is abused and groomed for gang membership.

Quotes

Add a Quote
j
jimg2000
Aug 07, 2016

Legend of Maui and the game of chess:
We “ know who Maui is, eh'? He's one of our ancestors, eh'? And one day he went fishing. He had this magic fishhook. He threw it over the side, and then something bit. He was like, “That's a bit heavy. Can't pull that up all on my own." So, because he was a leader of his people, like this king, Maui, he went and got all of his family, just like us, just like all these pieces on this board, they come together, and they pulled and they pulled and they pulled up land. And that land is the land we all live on now, eh? New Zealand? That's us. And that board there, the kingdom for this king, that board is like our land. We have to protect our land, eh? And we do that by all working together with our king. Now, if we lose our king, Maui, game over, no more game, 'cause he got the magic, so we have to protect him. Now, the one last thing about Maui, our king, is he has to carry that responsibility, and it's very heavy. So, ...

j
jimg2000
Aug 07, 2016

A lot of profanity ... at least the chess move lessons are clean:

So, 10 rules. Control the centre! Right on the centre. ... Connect the rooks. Connect the rooks. Two rooks together are stronger than one. Leave no one behind. All together, that's where we create the
net. That's how Maui caught the sun. Okay? Coordinate. Rangimarie, give me the coordinates
for the Spanish Square.
- C4.
Who told her? The Italian Square.
- B5.

Age Suitability

Add Age Suitability

There are no age suitabilities for this title yet.

Summary

Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number

Recommendations

Subject Headings

  Loading...

Find it at Library

  Loading...
[]
[]
To Top