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The Justice of Bunny King

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New Zealand

1h 41m

Director Gaysorn Thavat
Starring Essie Davis, Thomasin McKenzie, Ryan O'Kane, Erroll Shand
Genre Drama
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Bunny King is a working class mother of two whose children have been placed in foster care against her wishes. While battling the system to reunite with her children, a confrontation leads her to take her niece Tonyah under her wing. Together, Bunny and Tonyah try to find housing and a job for Bunny by her daughter's birthday.


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The Guardian by Cath Clarke

The strength of the writing is in portraying Bunny’s reality, allowing us to wonder – like the social workers – whether she really is a reliable parent. This is thoughtful film-making, though I didn’t quite buy into the explosion of drama at the end.

IndieWire by David Ehrlich

If the movie itself can be as clumsy and erratic as its heroine — especially during a third act that tries to split the difference between the Dardenne brothers and “Dog Day Afternoon” — Davis’ performance holds it all together with the power of centrifugal force, the actress spinning in circles of joy and rage so fast that you couldn’t get up from your seat even if you wanted to.

The Playlist by Jason Bailey

Mckenzie is a good match as an actor, countering Davis’s big emotions with a quieter turn and more introverted but no less affecting. She isn’t afraid of the difficult contradictions of the character, and by the film’s end, we’re struck by how much everyday horror this young woman shoulders and sucks up.

TheWrap by Katie Walsh

Thavat’s harrowing, moving film doesn’t necessarily offer justice for Bunny, but instead regards the small pieces of justice that Bunny, as misguided as she may be, ekes out for herself and her loved ones within a system that is trying to keep her down.
100 by Sheila O'Malley

Everything in The Justice of Bunny King—the clothes, the car, the decor, Bunny's sharpened eyeliner pencil, the plastic cake box, the worn-out bra—hasn't been carefully placed in the frame. They were there before the camera started rolling, and they will be thereafter.

Screen Daily by Wendy Ide

While some of the decisions by first-time director Gaysorn Thavat reveal a lack of experience, [Essie Davis] is as compellingly watchable as a car crash.