Kingpin video

Kingpin still


Kingpin - 1985




Morrow Film Productions - 89 Min.

Cast: Junior Amiga, Mitchell Manuel, Nicholas Rogers, Judy McIntosh, Terence Cooper.
Screenplay: Mike Walker, Mitchel Manuel; Director of Photography: John Toon; Music: Schtung, Andrew Hagen & Morton Wilson; Producers: Gary Hannam, Mike Walker; Director: Mike Walker.

Willie, a likeable kid, forms a friendship with Rikki, a new arrival at the reform school. Willie discovers that Rikki is maybe tough enough to take on Karl, the kingpin. Although Rikki is strong, he does not like to fight, but tensions mount as Karl's bullying become more obnoxious. After being shown up by Willie, Karl loses his temper and gives Willie a thrashing. As a result, Willie joins with some other boys in an escape. They steal a car, get drunk, and have a serious accident. Meanwhile Rikki is in hospital, injured in a forestry "accident' engineered by Karl. Filmed mostly with inexperienced actors at the Kohitere Boys Training Centre in Levin, and based upon real life elements.

Censor Rating: M - Review Rating: B-

Kingpin
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Four Word Film Review

"The production of Kingpin was in some ways inevitable. My partner Bob Morrow and I, through our film company Morrow Productions, had had an association with the Kohitere Boys' Training Centre since 1953 [...] Institutions such as this are pulsing with human drama: 70 - 80 boys (more in earlier years) taken from their families by the courts because of criminal and sometimes violent offences; bringing shame to their families. Or, in some cases, not even knowing who or where their families were; and more recently the acute social problem of the large numbers from the racial minority groups of Maori and Polynesian people" - (Mike Walker in, London Film Festival programme, 1985)

"It's a moving, compelling story told in a simple style that captures the tender and funny moments as effectively as it mirrors brutality. It's authentic, honest and gutsy. The raw energy of the film is charged by the spirit of the kids; their language, their music, and their dance" - (Helen Martin, "Out of Order", The Listener , October 5-11, 1985)

1985 - Winner of Moscow Film Festival Special Prize - 'For the clearest embodiment of the ideas of anti-imperialist solidarity, peace and friendship'.





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