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Show ReviewRio Breaks surf film review

Posted by Admin on Monday 9th May, 2011 @ 09:08 GMT
Review Category: Surf DVD's & Books | Visited 4374 times
Sometimes you want more from a surf movie than just wall-to-wall surfing action. And Rio Breaks, a story about surfing and survival, is just one of those films. The film is made by Justin Mitchell, plus written and produced by Vince Medeiros (Huck magazine publisher).
It’s a tale of two friends – Fabio (13) and Namma (12) – who live in ‘the hills’ above Arpoador Beach in Rio de Janeiro. The distinctiction between ‘the hills’ and ‘the concrete’ is made very clear early on – if you live in ‘the concrete’ you drive home from the beach, if you live in ‘the hills’ then you’ll be walking home barefoot.

This area of Rio is one of the slum areas. The closer you live to the top of the hill, the poorer you are. And Fabio and Namma live at the top.

Click to view full imageThe film follows the two boys across a year or so of their lives, most of which centres on the beach at Arpoador where they hang out pretty much from dawn to dusk. They both surf, with Fabio showing some real promise and likes to push himself in bigger waves.

We also meet lots of local characters – a collection of people who also live in ‘the hills’. All have a common bond of the beach and the waves as being a release from their daily lives in the slums. The surf seems to give them all hope for a better future as well, both from staying alive in this dangerous place and bettering the lives of their families too.

Many of Fabio and Namma’s friends, both kids and adults, have a central focus around the local surf club, which aims to nurture these kids using surfing as the medium to keep them on the straight and narrow.

With tales of drug gangs, shootings and killings interspersed throughout the film, it’s heart-warming to see there are people who are trying to rise above it all, and look to protect the kids around them too.

Click to view full imageThe surfing plays second fiddle in this intelligent and insightful documentary, but that’s not a problem as there’s still plenty of surf action to add to the flavour.

And this surf footage we get shows why Brazil has produced so many quality surfers. The locals rip and even the small kids are encouraged to get in the water and compete in junior comps.

The film, through it’s one-to-one interviews provides the viewer with a very personal and up-close experience of what Fabio and Namma face every day, just trying to survive.

Rio Breaks is visually well shot and a very thought-provoking film. It shows that surfing can help, even when you have nothing else in your life, but also too the darker side of things can take even the most surf-stoked grom away down a different path.


Rio Breaks has a UK cinema release on 3 June at the Empire, Leicester Square, London.

The DVD will be released on 3 October.

www.riobreaks.com

Rio Breaks trailer…


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