|Die Frankfurt-Tipp Bewertung:|
|Originaltitel:||The Dark Horse|
|Regie:||James Napier Robertson|
|Laufzeit:||Approx. 124 min.|
|FSK:||From 12 years|
Manic-depressive and incapable of leading an independent life - this is the diagnosis that makes Genesis Potini (Cliff Curtis) a permanent guest in psychiatry. When he is released again, his brother Ariki (Wayne Kapi) takes him in. Not a really good idea, because Ariki belongs to a biker gang, which is not a very good company for the unstable Genesis. When his nephew Mana (James Rolleston) is to be taken into the gang against his will, the brothers clash in such a way that Genesis moves out. Now he's faced with nothing again. But something gives him a new foothold: playing chess! He begins to teach underprivileged young people the game of kings in a local chess club. His goal is to bring the children to the final of the Junior Championships in Auckland. Finally he seems to have found something that fills his life with meaning and joy. But when Mana suddenly stands in front of him and wants to join the chess club, Genesis faces a new, difficult hurdle…
"The Talent of Genesis Potini" is based on the true story of a man who has made a considerable contribution to the advancement of disadvantaged children, even when expelled from society. His love of chess and his positive influence on the children have taken many young people off the streets and given them a perspective for the future. At first, the project was only aimed at Maori children, but later it was extended to other children, such as those with ADHD or writing difficulties. Although Genesis Potini had to fight his own demons again and again, he helped many people in his very own way without making a fuss about it. First a documentary film, which was released in 2003, and now this feature film put Potini, who died in 2011, in the spotlight that this silent hero would have deserved much earlier.
Director James Napier Robertson allows himself some dramaturgical freedom in his second feature film. Unlike the documentary "Dark Horse" he takes the true background only as an inspiration for his own story, which basically reflects what the real Genesis Potini did very well. The movie has some rather dreary, dark moments at the beginning. But in the end, what Robertson tells here is a wonderful feel-good cinema. This doesn't just work so well because the story has a true background that gives you back faith in the good in man. The strong play of the actors also lends the film a high degree of authenticity and strength. Especially Cliff Curtis, who currently plays a leading role in the series "Fear the Walking Dead", disappears completely behind the figure of Genesis. His performance is so engaging and fascinating that this would be reason enough not to miss out on this festival favorite.
Admittedly, in some moments the drama isn't exactly light entertainment, but comes across a little bit bulky. You have to be able to get involved with the story and the tone of the production in order to be captured by the warm feel-good carpet that is spread over the audience. But then "The Talent of Genesis Potini" offers really wonderful and highly emotional cinema, which lovers of real arthouse pearls shouldn't miss. Absolutely worth seeing!
Ein Artikel von Frankfurt-Tipp