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The crown jewel to ten years of Bruce Brown surfing documentaries. Brown follows two young surfers around the world in search of the perfect wave, and ends up finding quite a few in addition to some colorful local characters.
Lord 'Tally Ho' Blears
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The first officially sanctioned documentary about Maroubra's notorious surf-gang, the Bra Boys. Showing their success in professional big wave surfing, exploring their reputation for hard partying and rough justice, touching on their running battle with authorities and showing their reliance on one another to fit into and survive in a society in which they are displaced. The film also focuses on the evolution of the Sydney beach side suburb of Maroubra and the historical stigma associated with Australia's rebellious surf community, and the way it has contributed to their social displacement. Written by
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La Mar (The Ocean)
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Bra boys is an interesting one sided documentary about a group of surfers in Australia and a story into their lifestyle. Bra boys is based in Maroubra, Sydney, NSW, on the 2nd most popular beach in Australia.
The documentary is made and directed by Bra Boys, Sunny Abberton and features many gang members and pro-surfers. It shows the early life of the four Abberton brothers: Sunny, Jai, Koby and youngest brother Dakota. We see their unsuitable upbringing and lives as children and why they turned all their attention to the ocean and surfing. The Bra Boys have very little trust and respect for police officials and try to protect their gang from outsiders. We can see that the documentary is from the Bra Boys point of view as it does not shows information from anyone else besides the Bra Boys and the Bra Boys friends. Bra Boys have one main woman in their documentary and it happens to be their grandmother Mavis. Mavis took care of the brothers and most of their friends when the Abberton brother's mother, Lynn was struggling with heroin addiction and had an abusive partner who once hit Koby. At Mavis' house is where the whole gang ideas started, the first gang was called ma's hell gang.
The documentary is mostly about the brothers and what they have been through. One of the most biggest and interesting event is the murder of Anthony Hines who was shot by Jai Abberton. Jai claims he shot Hines for self defence reasons, it was said that Hines had been after Jai Abberton after he suspected him of sleeping with his girlfriend. Although we don't get very much information on this event it is still the biggest as both brothers Jai and Koby are looking at serving jail time. Jai got 20 months in prison but then was found not guilty; we still don't receive any more information on the incident with Jai saying "I have only had to tell the jury what happened that night". Another incident that happened was on 22nd of December 2002 when the Bra Boys had a party for pro-surfer Mark Mathews 21st.The party consisted of 200 drunken men who got into fights with off-duty police officers who were celebrating a Christmas party one floor below them. That night only Bra Boys were arrested and all the police who were involved got off, this actually shows that the Bra Boy's got treated differently for something they may not have started, its no wonder they distrust the police.
Most of the time the Bra Boy's are just trying to have fun. They stick to the beaches and surf but sometimes like to set their friends on fire and jump into water from cliffs. Some critics have disapproved of this but I think it's their lives they can do what they want so therefore should be left alone. We do see some fights that occur during the documentary but only the surfers against other surfers. We can determine who belongs to the Bra Boy's gang as most of them have 'Bra Boy's tattooed on them but in Koby's case he has 'My brothers keeper'.
Bra Boy's has a very Australian feel about it, this may be because the narrator is no other then Russell Crowe. The documentary also contains mostly Australian songs some by Parkway Drive which gives it a very Australian feel. We also receive some history on when the first fleet arrived in Australia and the controversy between them and the Aboriginals. I think it was a wise idea to include some history of the place where it was filmed because it could show why the Abbertons are the people they are today.
Also in the documentary it features the Cronulla Riots, and it shows how the Bra Boy's were involved. Most people thought that the Bra Boy's were probably one of the main causes but in fact they were the ones who were trying to make peace. People may have thought this because the Bra Boy's, when they first heard people were heading their way grabbed baseball bats and other weapons and went straight to the beach. They were only trying to protect their beach from getting destroyed. Bra Boy's also said that it wasn't all the Lebanese who were fighting, most of the people protecting the beach were multi cultural, Koby said some couldn't even speak English but was standing and fighting for Australia.
At the end of the film it shows people from Maroubra telling people what nationality they are, this is a way of showing that it doesn't matter if your not full Australian or born in Australia you are still apart of it. Bra Boy's must think this is important because they wouldn't have shown it otherwise.
The documentary Bra Boys is a very interesting point of view. I would watch it again and recommend it to people who are interested in surfing and the Abberton brothers. I don't think the Abberton brothers made this documentary to promote themselves or to make themselves famous, they just want to tell their side of the story. It shows their point of view and not just the media's. it is a very good film.
Internet movie database Nikila GYC
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