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For Right or Wrong (2006)

Snowboard pioneer Jake Burton explains what it's like to live within the bubble of pro boarding in this documentary featuring footage of expert riders on and off the slopes, at home and during expeditions to the world's premier peaks.

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Cast

Credited cast:
Jake Burton ...
Rider
George Burton Carpenter ...
Rider
...
Rider
Danny Davis ...
Rider
Kier Dillon ...
Rider
Dave Downing ...
Rider
Dimitry Fesenko ...
Rider
Terje Håkonsen ...
Rider (as Terje Haakonsen)
Jeremy Jones ...
Rider
Mads Jonsson ...
Rider
Kazuhiro Kokubo ...
Rider
Nicolas Müller ...
Rider (as Nicolas Muller)
...
Rider
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Snowboard pioneer Jake Burton explains what it's like to live within the bubble of pro boarding in this documentary featuring footage of expert riders on and off the slopes, at home and during expeditions to the world's premier peaks.

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2006 (USA)  »

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$2,000,000 (estimated)
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User Reviews

 
Interesting idea, great footage..but left wanting more!
31 January 2007 | by (London) – See all my reviews

For For Right Or Wrong is a documentary feature made in conjunction with Burton Snowboards, which profiles several of the companies sponsored riders in their various snow board disciplines; Pipe, Street, Free Ride and Big Air. A large part of the action takes place around the snowboard wunderkind Shaun White, as he prepares to compete in the 2006 winter Olympic Games in Torino, Italy. The other various narrative strands follow the different paths of the individual boarders as we see them in action and they talk about why it is they do what they do. The film also introduces Burton Snow Board founder and CEO of Burton, Jake Burton Carpenter.

Whilst I had no complaints about the boarding sequences – the film is visually rich, incredibly well covered and the makers were clearly given an 'access all areas' pass to their subjects – for me it lacked a certain editorial angle that other sports films like Riding Giants and Dog Town and the Z Boys managed unearth. Each rider waxes lyrical in hyperbolic terms about the 'mysticism' of boarding and the mountains, but at no point do you get any real sense about who they are, why they started snowboarding and what it is about the sport that keeps them coming back for more. This lack of character development is particularly mystifying given some of the cast's personal history. For instance, according to various sources, as a child White had a serious heart defect that almost killed him. Another of Burton's retinue, Jeremy Jones is a practicing Mormon who has gone on record to support Bush's war on Terror. And Burton Carpenter can be credited with almost single-handedly inventing the sport whilst at the same time saving the winter sports industry. None of these themes are even touched upon in the documentary.

This lack of any real character development might be forgiven had the film go to the underbelly of the board scene. Do riders die? Who are the fans? What does it take for a person to become a pro? It's described as a movement and an art form, but snowboarding is clearly big business. So who's making all the money? None of these questions were even addressed.

There are a couple of moments of small tension or drama in the proceedings. We see the agonising final run of pro rider, Kier Dillon, as he fails in his final attempt to make the cut for the Olympic half pipe team. And the sense of tension and subsequent relief when Kelly Clarke qualifies for a final slot in the Games are great moments. But they are all too fleeting.

One can understand that the impressive array of tricks, footage and locations might have blinded the makers somewhat to the real story here. And perhaps in another ten years when winter sports are made impossible by the onset of global warming another film might be able to reveal why snowboarding caught the imaginations of so many. But for now we are left with For Right Or Wrong, which I'm afraid, for this enthusiast was a serious disappointment.


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