This film is inspired by Jim Marbrook’s 2003 documentary about Genesis Pontini. He is brilliant in playing chess but he struggles with mental illness. He has hallucinations and he talks to himself. He finds a purpose and helps his recovery by teaching underprivileged Maori youth about the rules of chess and life.
I had trouble understanding some of the lines spoken by the actors? This is also a completely different culture and I found it difficult to understand the culture and the relationships. 3* (This movie is OK)
124 min, Bio directed by James Napier Robertson with Cliff Curtis, James Rolleston, Kirk Torrance, Miriama McDowell, Barry Te Hira, Xavier Horan.
Note: Imdb 7.6 out of 10, 97% critic 77% audience on Rotten Tomatoes, Roger Ebert 3 ½*, Amazon 4.8* out of 5* with 9 reviews (video 4.1* out of 5* with 208 reviews)
Special Note: Filmed in Gisborne and Auckland, New Zealand. Cliff Curtis gained almost 60 pounds and remained in character as Genesis during the entire shoot. Genesis Ponti was born September 5, 1963 and he passed away August 15, 2011. He was known for his speed as a 1-minute chess player and he had bipolar disorder.