Monday 1 December 2014
THIS wonderful New Zealand film tells the
story of a chess champion who uses his talents to rescue youths at risk from
the disaster of realising the worst of their potential.
The story is
inspired by the life of Genesis Potini—the ‘dark horse’ of the film’s
title—played brilliantly in the movie by Cliff Curtis. Genesis was a Maori
chess savant who suffered from bipolar disorder and was hospitalised with it
frequently. From time to time, Genesis succumbed to his mental illness, but his
high-speed style of chess playing and his intricate knowledge of the game were
sources of amazement to those who knew him.
Genesis died in 2011. He was not
especially well known at the time, but he had a charismatic influence on all
who came into contact with him. He always placed his own mental illness behind
the goal of helping others.