The Justice of Bunny King
Synopsis: Bunny King, a headstrong mother of two with a sketchy past, earns her keep by washing windows at traffic lights. Using her razor-sharp wit to charm money from gridlocked motorists, she saves every cent to get back the custody of her kids. After promising her daughter a birthday party, Bunny fights the social services and breaks the rules to keep her word, but in doing so risks losing her children altogether. Accompanied by her niece Tonya, a fierce teenager running away from home, Bunny is in a race against the clock and headed towards an epic showdown with the authorities.
TM: Bunny is the poster child for a broken child welfare system. She does the classes, checks in with her parole officer, and attends supervised visits, but with every step forward, she falls back two. You empathize with her every step of the way. Authenticity is felt throughout the entire movie. Did I feel that justice was served? No. But it didn’t lack heart and relatability.
The acting in this film is astounding. Essie Davis (Bunny) and her niece, Thomasin McKenzie play so well together. They set an appropriate tone for such a tough subject.
Tuesday’s Rating: 4 shots
KM: This film is all about the acting. Essie Davis as Bunny King fully immersed in her character. A struggling mother who had her kids taken away is fighting against a government system. Like most government agencies, the New Zealand child welfare system is cumbersome, unsympathetic, and endlessly moves the goal posts.
While not based on a true story, Bunny’s plight resonates with what many parents face when their children are taken away. The behemoth government system that lack all empathy is the true villain of the story. Bunny struggles to achieve every demand, but the child welfare system keeps moving the goalposts. I was completely drawn into the story, which is rare for me these days.
Kaely’s Rating: 4.5 shots