Directed by Sunny Abberton, who is also a member of the notorious Bra Boys surf gang, this engaging portrait of young men from lower-class beginnings abandons the clichés to reveal violent Australian surfers and their close knit beach community of Maroubra. Abberton skims over the sentimentalism – as evident in the brief scene when all the members attend his grandmother’s funeral – to present a grittier account of his surfing brethren.
We see the tattoos, the disdain for police, the secret handshakes and the endless toe-to-toe fistfights, several of which are captured on home video. At times I was too caught up in the UFC style brawls to care that I was watching a surfing documentary. Then again, on the shores of Maroubra anything less would be uncivilized.
Bra Boys releases in select theaters April 11.