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Movie Review: Surfwise

Alternate Title: Chairman of the Board

Story: I don't know what your childhood was like, but mine, other than being Jewish, bore no resemblance to anything that the Paskowitz clan experienced. Over the past few decades you might have seen a feature on a news program about this singular family. This is an intriguing documentary directed and written by Doug Pray. As the film opens we meet 84 year old Dorian Paskowitz. With his piercing blue eyes he regales us with stories about his philosophy of life, health, sex and child rearing.

Paskowitz went to Stanford Medical School and began his life as would be expected for an accomplished doctor. But after two failed marriages he threw in the towel, toured the world and decided to live life on his own terms. He married an extraordinary woman and raised nine children while living in a 24 foot trailer at the beach or anywhere else they felt like exploring. His kids did not go to school as Dorian felt that life was enough of an education. His kids majored in surfing and stayed together until they reached their 20's.

The adult children are the talking heads and it is fascinating to hear them speak about their lives in retrospect. I do not want to spoil any of the stories but I found the whole concept deliciously appealing. Dorian claims to have introduced surfing to Israel. http://www.topsea.co.il/historye.htm

The surf camp they founded still exists but it now holds sessions in Cabo San Lucas, Montauk and San Diego http://www.paskowitz.com/

For some of Dorian's philosophy go to his web site and check out his book. http://www.alohadoc.com

Watch the trailer here but keep in mind that the trailer does not show any of the underbelly of the life on the road that the movie portrays: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TJ27zOhQ_oA

Acting: The Paskowitz Clan, including: Dorian “Doc Paskowitz,” Juliette, David, Jonathan, Abraham, Israel, Moses, Adam, Salvador, Navah and Joshua.

Predilection: I like documentaries.

Food: Health was the foremost thing in the 24 foot trailer. That included only healthy food, no sugar, etc. etc. etc.

Sex Spectrum: Lots and lots of talk about sex, sexual freedom, etc. Some of it very humorous.

Soundtrack: Lively and appropriate.

Visual Art: What's not to like about the beach, the waves and blue sky. The camper part was a bit claustrophobic for my taste.

Theater Audience: A theater full of aging Gidgets and Moon Doggies seen at the IFC.

Weather: It is always good weather for surfing in this film.

Sappy Factor: 0

Quirky Meter: As far as lifestyles are concerned, I think this would qualify for a 1 on the quirky scale.

Squirm Scale: 0

Drift Factor: I did not want to miss a wave.

Predictability Level: It was interesting to see what happened to all nine Paskowitz kids now that they are all adults.

Tissue Usage: 0

Oscar Worthy: No

Big Screen or Rental: Rental would probably be fine.

Length: 90 minutes

LOBO HOWLS: 7