Surfwise, the terrific new documentary by filmmaker Doug Pray, fits the soon-to-be classic mold of movies following the lives of quirky eccentrics, like The Cruise, Grey Gardens and I Like Killing Flies. In this instance, Dr. Dorian “Doc” Paskowitz, the patriarch of Surfwise, leads his gigantic family of nine by example, as they surf up and down the coast of California and Mexico.

On the one hand, this sounds like a blast, as the kids have little schooling or obligations. They truly do spend most of their time surfing and hanging out at the beach. On the other hand, all of them, including their mom, Juliette, live crammed together in a trailer going from campsite to campsite.

Like a romantic, back to nature fantasy, the Paskowitzs live a life apart – one that holds little resemblance to the American ideal of suburbia.

Pray weaves stories of the past and present into the picture with touching and candid interviews with the now grown children and the sometimes clueless parents. Surfwise poses the question: After having grown up in a veritable Eden, how do you ever fit into the real world?

Grade: A

Surfwise is currently available.