Wednesday, April 13, 2016

K is for: Kaikohe Demolition

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.


  1. I love seeing films like this which introduce me to a part of life that I have no knowledge or experience of. Thanks for this.

  2. I never knew that derbies were traditional holiday celebrations! :)

  3. Sounds worth checking out! Last year I saw Dark Horse and loved it. Such great insight to a country that I know so little about.

    Happy A2Z-ing!
    Guilie @ Life In Dogs (and member of co-host Damyanti's team, D's Company )

  4. Kate,

    This is making me wonder if any of these movies are based on books? I'd love to write a story with these three guys! I won't, of course, somebody owns the characters so I'll have to come up with my own.

    1. Believe it or not, this is a documentary. So I'm sure you could write a story based on these guys!

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