Who would like a film about a chess player with mental health problems? A chess player married to a senior mental health officer? I guess that partly explains why yours truly loved this film. But that would only be partly the reason.
The Dark Horse, is a New Zealand film, which tells the true story of Genesis Potini, a little known New Zealand hero and chess champion. It tells of his struggle against his own mental illness and his attempts to help poor Maori teenagers through teaching them to play chess. It is a powerful film, emotional whilst avoiding too many emotional cliches. The scenes with the biker gang are powerful and painful. Cliff Curtis is brilliant in the main role, and he is ably backed up by the rest of the cast. There is much in this film to be thankful for, and much think about. From a Christian perspective it demonstrates clearly that we live in a fallen and broken world, in which there is also great beauty. The image of God in humanity remains. Of course we know that our purpose and redemption is not in chess, great though that is, but rather in and through Christ. Who is going to teach our broken teenagers about the healing that comes through Him?
If you are a chess player, a mental health worker, a worker with teenagers, a Maori or just a human being who is interested in humanity, then go see this film. A must….