Part two of a trilogy (see also Kingi's Story, Mark II) about troubled NZ youth. Filmed at, and inspired by residents of Kohitere Boys Training Centre, Levin, the bros-in-borstal tale follows a group of teens who are wards of the state; played by actors Mitchell Manuel, Faifua "Junior" Amiga and Nicholas Rogers. Kingpin focuses on the bond between Riki (Manuel) and Willie (Amiga), who along with the other kids are terrorised by Karl (Rogers), the Kingpin of the title. Powerful and moving, it's directed by Mike Walker, who co-wrote the script with Manuel.
The most refreshing aspect of Kingpin is the total lack of apologist preaching […]. It is a positive sign of Walker’s understanding and respect that he doesn’t make up facile excuses for them [the boys]. Tough minded it may be, but the compassion of Kingpin’s outlook is touching too.– Costa Botes, Dominion, 19 May 1986
World premiere in Levin on 10 October 1985
Made in association with the Film Investment Corporation of New Zealand
Music by Schtung