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The Green Life: Movie Review Friday -- Surfwise

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July 18, 2008

Movie Review Friday -- Surfwise

Escape to the movies with one of our Movie Friday selections. Each week we'll review a film with environmentally or socially-responsible themes that’s currently in theaters or available on DVD.

Seen a good eco-flick lately? Send us a review of 100 words or less and look for your review in the next Movie Friday!


The nine Paskowitz children--eight boys, one girl--grew up as nomads in a series of beat-up campers and RVs. And they surfed. As sport and as an adjunct part of their Jewish faith, because patriarch Dorian “Doc” Paskowitz, a Stanford-educated M.D. who introduced surfing to Israel, saw fusion with the ocean as a path to “wisdom” -- as opposed to “knowledge,” an inferior form of intelligence the children might easily have acquired if they’d been allowed to attend school.

Film maker Doug Pray’s new documentary Surfwise seduces viewers into the family’s seemingly blissful world of neo-primitive health and eco-consciousness. Pray rivets attention, however, by refusing to attach rosy filters to the camera lens as the family gradually reveals the dark complexities of attempting to live with such self-defined purity.

--Review by Bob Sipchen


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