The Justice of Bunny King

The Justice of Bunny King

New Zealand | 2021 | 101 min | Gaysorn Thavat

April 14 - 24, 2022

Essie Davis (“Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries”) and Thomasin McKenzie (Jojo Rabbit) star in this compassionate drama about a mother suffering at the hands of a system stacked against her as she attempts to win her kids back from foster care.


With a red puffer jacket tied around her waist and squeegee in hand, Bunny King (Essie Davis, The Bababook) traipses through the suburbs of New Zealand for the money she needs to regain custody of her children. Washing cars on the freeway by day and acting as live-in nanny to her sister’s kids by night, Bunny carefully saves her earnings to meet the demands of social services: buy a house by her daughter’s birthday. But as her relationship with her sister frays, social-service workers treat her with both disinterest and condescension, and her troubled niece Tonya (Thomasin McKenzie, Jojo Rabbit) runs away from home, Bunny’s attempts to get her children back grow increasingly more desperate. Davis and McKenzie play wonderfully off each other as two women dealing with different kinds of grief, wrestling with their rage and fear but also finding moments to love deeply and smile throughout. Thavat’s debut piece shines a light on the dehumanization of poverty, the impersonality of government agencies, and how those who need help the most are often overlooked and spoken-over.

— Janae Brooks

  • Director: Gaysorn Thavat
  • Principal Cast: Essie Davis, Thomasin McKenzie
  • Premiere Status: Seattle
  • Country: New Zealand
  • Year: 2021
  • Running Time: 101 min
  • Producer: Emma Slade
  • Screenplay: Sophie Henderson
  • Cinematographers: Ginny Loane
  • Editors: Cushla Dillon
  • Music: Karl Steven
  • Website: Official Film Website
  • Awards: Tribeca 2021 (Special Jury Mention: Outstanding Cast)
  • Filmography: Debut Feature Film
  • Language: English
  • Format: DCP
  • US Distributor: Filmrise
  • International Sales: Protagonist Pictures