Actor Wayne Hapi who played "Ariki" had no previous acting experience before his debut in 'The Dark Horse', however as an ex gang-member he did have direct experience with the film's content. Wayne applied for an audition via email after Casting Director Yvette Reid placed a job listing at WINZ "seeking Maori Men aged 50-65yrs, tattoos and criminal records welcome!". Wayne was honoured with a nomination for Best Supporting Actor at the 2014 New Zealand Film awards. See more »
In a chess lesson, Genesis identifies the square c4 as "the Spanish square" and b5 as "the Italian square." These are the squares to which white moves the king's bishop on the third move of the Giuoco Piano, or Italian Game, and the Ruy Lopez, or Spanish Game, respectively; he's got them backward. See more »
This went straight into my top 5 movies of all time. Powerful story, raw in places. It brought a real depth of emotion and connection to the viewer. Cliff Curtis is a tour De force in this film, the best role I have seen him in. The supporting cast, despite being largely unknown, add a richness to the film, and also an authenticity to the setting. The fact that it is a true story also adds to the film, and made me want to find out more about the lead character, Genesis Potini. Although there are elements of violence, and that can be harrowing, they are tempered by extraordinary scenes of tenderness, and of humor. While the story has a New Zealand setting, it is a film for all people, from all parts of the world. If you are going to see one film this year, this is it. A must see.
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