Surfwise (2007)

"Surfwise" follows the odyssey of 85-year-old, legendary surfer Dr. Dorian "Doc" Paskowitz, his wife Juliette, and their nine children--all of whom were home-schooled on the beaches of Southern California, Hawaii, Mexico… More

Directed By:
Rated: R
Running Time:
Release Date: September 1, 2007
DVD Release Date: July 29, 2008
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Critic Score: 98% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews

Consensus: An intriguing account of a unique family.

Andrea Gronvall
Chicago Reader

The fallout decades later provides the drama in this documentary by Doug Pray, who lets his eccentric octogenarian subject off a little too easy.

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Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times

The film's director, Doug Pray, has been able to track down each and every Paskowitz child, and he weaves their memories together with old home movies, still photos and news clippings to create an evocative portrait of their lives.

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Marty Mapes
Movie Habit

New Bohemian lifestyle: good, bad, or neutral?

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Joe Leydon
Houston Chronicle

A provocative documentary about a man who dropped out to follow a dream that gradually evolved into something not unlike a nightmare.

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Colin Covert
Minneapolis Star Tribune

A riveting documentary that focuses more on weird family dynamics than big waves.

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Robert Roten
Laramie Movie Scope

This documentary about a famous family of nomadic surfers is fascinating not only because of the certifiable oddball patriarch, but also because of his endlessly creative offspring.

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Steven Rea
Philadelphia Inquirer

Not just the story of one man's obsessive quest to find harmony on a plank of wood, Surfwise offers a cautionary tale about parenting, homeschooling (camper-schooling, actually), sibling rivalries and family sacrifice.

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Noel Murray
AV Club

Some documentarians think like essayists, propagandists, abstract painters, or magazine reporters. Doug Pray approaches his documentaries as though he's writing books.

Nora Lee Mandel

Intriguing family story of the sunny and dark sides of extreme home-schooling by surfing, through a trove of photos, home movies, and reminiscences, but little insight.

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More reviews for Surfwise

Flixster Audience Score: 65% Flixster User Reviews
Melvin White
After watching Surfwise; I don't know what to think of "Doc" and the way he raised his children. All I know is that I wouldn't have wanted… More
Walter M.
[font=Century Gothic]"Surfwise" is an engaging, if not substantive, documentary about Dorian ' Doc' Paskowitz who graduated from Stanford… More
Steve K
At once engaging and infuriating, this documentary shows both the good side to the Paskowitz family upbringing, and the bad. Managed to bring a tear to my eye… More
Wu Chouin
Insightful & candid doc on legendary surfer Dorian Paskowitz and his freakishly large family. It delves into Dorian's lifestyle and beliefs and the… More
Mark Abell
A sad film chronicling the unconventional lifestyle of one of surfing's leading families. Sad, because although their childhood was an idyllic bohemian… More
A recent documentary about a hippie surfer family. The film talks about the life and times of the eleven member Paskowitz family that roamed the country… More