Review of Surfwise

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The documentary Surfwise was released in 2008. At first, one would think that this documentary only deals with the sport of surfing but the film delves deeper into the lives of the Paskowitz family, the first family of surfers. The documentary shows raw emotions of family members, their feelings towards each other and their journey through life. A few minutes into the film, it seems that the Paskowitz family was living the perfect life, that is – leaving everything behind and chasing your dreams even if it’s beyond the norm.

The documentary is presented in three parts. The first part shows how the family came to be. Dr. Paskowitz, the leader of the brood chose to leave his medical profession in order to chase good waves with his wife. Together, they had 9 children, 8 of which are boys and 1 girl. They literally lived in a vehicle and they would go from beach to beach just so they could find good waves and surf all they want. As the documentary progresses, the children, now adults, share their experiences while traveling and living in a vehicle while growing up. They also share their feelings about their journey while living out of the norm and their transition into entering what is known as the “normal” life. At the end of the film, the Paskowitz family reunites after 10 years of not seeing each other.

The documentary opens a lot of questions to the viewer. Chasing your dreams is good but it can alter your life drastically when it becomes an obsession. The film shows that you have to find a balance in everything that you do so the scales won’t be one sided. This surf movie is indeed one of the films that can evoke emotion from the viewer and it also shows the lives of real individuals who risked everything in order to chase their dreams.

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