A brilliant but troubled New Zealand chess champion finds purpose by teaching underprivileged children about the rules of chess and life.
26 wins & 14 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Cliff Curtis ... Genesis
James Rolleston ... Mana
Kirk Torrance ... Noble
Miriama McDowell ... Sandy
Barry Te Hira Barry Te Hira ... Mutt
Xavier Horan Xavier Horan ... Jedi
Wayne Hapi ... Ariki
Lyel Timu Lyel Timu ... Rangimarie
Te Ahorangi Retimana-Martin ... Rusty
Calae Hignett-Morgan Calae Hignett-Morgan ... Piripi
Te Rua Rehu-Martin Te Rua Rehu-Martin ... Murray
Niwa Whatuira Niwa Whatuira ... Michael
Lionel Wellington Lionel Wellington ... Rip
Wesley Broadfoot Wesley Broadfoot ... Nathan
Tuhoe Isaac Tuhoe Isaac ... Blood
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Storyline

A brilliant but troubled New Zealand chess champion finds purpose by teaching underprivileged children about the rules of chess and life.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Every piece has a purpose See more »

Genres:

Biography | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language throughout, and drug use | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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 »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

Mana: That's where I belong.
[with the Vagrants]
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Connections

Referenced in Talking Dead: Monster (2016) See more »

User Reviews

 
Oscar time Cliff Curtis
22 November 2014 | by warthogjumpSee all my reviews

Other reviewers have summed this film up very well, it is a remarkable story and I can also see if you are a Kiwi coming from the area it would have even much more of a significant impact.

However, let me just take a minute to reflect on the performance given by Cliff Curtis. He is such a versatile actor! Having played in many Hollywood hits and also lower budget Kiwi productions, he has the ability to transition from cool, calm characters to angry, stormy characters and now to a perfect portrayal of Genesis, the Dark Horse, who is "sick" but doing his very best to help troubled kids in his community. Curtis' acting in every one of his films is horrifyingly convincing and it is fair to say he will be robbed if he doesn't win an award for this role in particular. He played such a gentle, caring character all you could do was feel sympathy for his situation throughout the entire duration of the film.


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Details

Country:

New Zealand

Language:

English

Release Date:

20 November 2014 (Australia) See more »

Also Known As:

The Dark Horse See more »

Filming Locations:

New Zealand See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

NZD3,500,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$8,152, 3 April 2016

Gross USA:

$67,533

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$1,862,114
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
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