Kaikohe Demolition (2004)
Director: Florian Habicht
Producer: Florian Habicht
Stars: Uncle Bimm, Ben Haretuku
This high-energy documentary fully captures the spirit and verve of people living on the poverty line in New Zealand’s far North. The film centres on three middle-aged demolition derby drivers and they are three of the funniest blokes you’ll ever have the privilege of meeting.
In Kaikohe, any holiday calls for a derby, and Habicht’s film documents the destruction only an Easter/Mother’s Day/Christmas long weekend calls for. These derbys are orgies of destruction as metal, rubber and mud collide at great speed.
In contrast to the pedal-to-the-metal action, we see the drivers in more reflective mode, relaxing in the town’s hot pools. The film broadens to show the community as a whole, and is an eye-opening portrait of a way of life few of us in cities ever get the opportunity to see.
A real piece of Kiwiana, Habicht’s film is endlessly entertaining as well as somewhat sobering.