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Surfwise (2007) More at IMDbPro »

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Surfwise -- This is the theatrical trailer for Surfwise, directed by Doug Pray.


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Doug Pray (written by)
View company contact information for Surfwise on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
9 May 2008 (USA) See more »
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Doug Pray explores the life of surfer Dorian "Doc" Paskowitz. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
2 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
Unexamined complexities See more (26 total) »


  (in credits order)
Juliette Paskowitz ... Herself
David Paskowitz ... Himself
Jonathan Paskowitz ... Himself
Abraham Paskowitz ... Himself
Israel Paskowitz ... Himself (as Israel 'Izzy' Paskowitz)
Moses Paskowitz ... Himself (as Moses Zyus Paskowitz II)
Adam Paskowitz ... Himself

Salvador Paskowitz ... Himself (as Salvador Daniel Paskowitz)
Navah Paskowitz ... Herself (as Navah Paskowitz-Walther)
Josh Paskowitz ... Himself (as Joshua Paskowitz)
Dorian Paskowitz ... Himself (as Dorian 'Doc' Paskowitz M.D.)
Adrian Paskowitz ... Himself
Rob Jones ... Himself
Brent Weber ... Himself - Sportscaster

Directed by
Doug Pray 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Doug Pray  written by

Produced by
Graydon Carter .... producer
Mark Cuban .... executive producer
Amir Feingold .... line producer: Israel
Jason Kliot .... executive producer
Tony Lord .... co-producer
Tommy Means .... producer
Dana Merwin .... associate producer
Jonathan Paskowitz .... producer
Jonathan Pine .... co-producer
Stef Smith .... line producer
Joana Vicente .... executive producer
Todd Wagner .... executive producer
Matt Weaver .... producer
Original Music by
John Dragonetti 
Cinematography by
David Homcy 
Film Editing by
Lasse Jarvi 
Production Management
Gretchen McGowan .... executive in charge of production
Dana Merwin .... post-production supervisor
Jamey Pryde .... post-production supervisor
Sound Department
Luke Bechthold .... sound effects editor
Dan Creech .... sound editor: background effects
Tom Marks .... dialogue editor
Greg Morgenstein .... sound re-recording mixer
Kyle Schember .... sound re-recording mixer
Kyle Schember .... supervising sound editor
James Wright .... consultant: dolby sound (as Jim Wright)
Ryan Young .... assistant dialogue editor
Camera and Electrical Department
Jim Dziura .... assistant camera
Editorial Department
Edgar Furse .... assistant on-line editor
Gem McLaughlin .... assistant editor
Chris Povall .... on-line editor
Austin Michael Scott .... assistant on-line editor
Virginia A. Williams .... post-production coordinator
Music Department
David Rich .... music coordinator
Janet Billig Rich .... music supervisor
Other crew
Diane Ambruso .... story consultant
Courtney Andrialis .... creative executive: HDNet Films
Jonathan Gray .... production counsel
Steve Holmgren .... office manager
Brenda T. Huey .... production accountant
Lauren Lillie .... assistant: Mr. Kliot & Ms. Vicente
Chris Losnegard .... production associate
Christopher Matson .... business affairs
Alex Panagakis .... publicist
Jordan Lawson .... special thanks
Crew believed to be complete

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
Rated R for language and some sexual material
93 min
Sound Mix:
Filming Locations:

Did You Know?

The film premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival on Sept. 11, 2007. While all Paskowitz family members were scheduled to attend, four brothers were stuck in New York, as bad weather in both New York and Toronto prevented them from getting on the plane.See more »
Got You (Where I Want You)See more »


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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful.
Unexamined complexities, 4 August 2008
Author: Chris Knipp from Berkeley, California

"Surfwise" is what Dorian "Doc" Paskowitz has sought to be after he found himself--a surfer guru. A Stanford-educated doctor and observant Jew fed up with conventional life and passionate about surfing, he put two failed marriages and an ordinary medical practice behind him in 1956 and left Hawaii for Israel. He hung out with the bedouin and taught Israelis to surf, but when they wouldn't let him join the military during the Suez crisis he went to California. He and Juliette, his new wife of Mexican/Mexican heritage, first made their home in a 1950 Studebaker. Next "Doc" set them up to wander in a 24-foot camper, working part-time in clinics and focusing on family.

And I mean family. For ten years Juliette was constantly pregnant or breast-feeding and the result was nine children, eight boys and one girl, all surfers, unschooled, living on a spartan diet of no fat or sugar, sometimes down to their last quarter and crammed into the little vehicle under the iron rule of Dorian and later of David, the eldest, the "captain" who carried out his orders--but later rebelled dramatically.

No school, no fat, lots of surfing. And always the little camper rig.

"Doc," now a tanned eighty-something with an arthritic limp but great vigor of mind and body who still surfs (on his knees), for five decades lived his life in the moment for the pleasures of the waves, which he passed on to the big Paskowitz brood and eventually to many others in his surfing school which several of his sons continue. He decided, as he explains in terms too frank to give here, that his previous marriages had failed because of poor sex. This time with the help of Juliette there was good sex and plenty of it-- every evening, in fact, in the confined quarters, where the kids also had to sleep. Not a very comfortable situation for the boys, whose nomadic life and lack of school made it hard for them even to meet girls.

"Doc" had become fiercely idealistic, and his example has influenced others and hasn't been rejected by his offspring. Their life was rough, artificial, and arbitrary, and not always fair to the kids. Nonetheless they were the envy of other kids who came their way. They didn't grow up ignorant because they read a lot of books--from public libraries which would like them back. "Doc" didn't condone stealing, but penurious circumstances sometimes necessitated a little lawlessness. Big risks were taken when the young ones faced the big waves. There were a couple of serious injuries. But they didn't risk being caught by truant officers because being on the go, the family lived off the books.

There is a carelessness and speed about Pray's film that's not entirely out of keeping with the material but is frustrating--right from the start. In over a decade of previous efforts like 'Hype!,' 'Scratch,' 'Red Diaper Baby,' 'Infamy,' and 'Big Rig' the filmmaker has tended toward punk, hip hop, and off-the-mainstream cultures and the Paskowitz radicalism--sort of--fits the picture, but details of the family history, which spans half a century in images and documents, are sometimes allowed to flit by too fast to take in or digest. It is stunning to see the row of boys in wet suits or shorts, perfectly graduated in height, tan and bursting with health if sometimes (by American super-sized standards) precariously lean. Those images are clear enough. "Doc" and Juliette, who're still together, living in Hawaii, and both speak a lot on camera, produced a passel of robust young people.

In an outtake son Abraham runs down the list in order of arrival on the scene. David was captain. Jonathan was the black sheep. Abraham was the "little lover," "the soft one," Israel was "the golden boy, "as talented as he was good looking." Moses was "the Macabee, the giant." Adam was "the genius." Salvador was the artist. Navah is the strongest women he's ever met. She lives a conventional life as a suburban housewife in Encino.

It's not easy growing up with a crusader, and Paskowitz was something of a dictator, though also fiercely protective. The kids weren't prepared for the outside world, for mercantilism, jobs, traffic, living in a world governed by money. "Doc" may have done OK without it, but they couldn't. And when they found friends who got sugar doughnuts for breakfast or later who used alcohol and drugs, it was hard to go back to multigrain gruel and clean living. They were human. Adam wanted more than anything to become a doctor. But when he found out at 18 that he'd need about ten years to catch up on normal preparation for college and medical school, sadly he gave up on those ambitions. He is the one now who pledges to "keep the dream alive" and "put my kids through what Dorian put us through." One brother is a professional artist, two are singers, another is in Hollywood. Izzy/Israel who has an autistic son, helps run Surfers Healing, a program of surfing for autistic kids. Two of the other sons are involved in the family surfing school. They seem all to have done well. Some have pretty strong complaints about how their special upbringing handicapped them, at least at first, but they seem to agree that the good outweighs the bad and that what their father gave them was priceless and unique.

I say "seem," because this documentary is neither cautious nor searching. There is an unfortunate slapdash feel about it. And it's not a good thing--not at all--that some of the key information seems to be in outtakes on the DVD. There are i's that need dotting and t's that need crossing. The film concludes with a family reunion staged in Hawaii. It emerges that some of the siblings hadn't seen each other or their parents for years. Details are not forthcoming.

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