Flitting between archive footage and modern-day interviews, Australian filmmaker Christopher Nelius’ sports activities documentary is a sobering story of historic and systemic sexism and homophobia within the browsing group. It’s a chilling exposé, however Nelius permits the feminine surfers’ ardour for the game, and their everlasting zest for all times, to shine by way of.
From the outset, the movie’s title evokes a pungent sense of irony, which most male surfers within the Nineteen Eighties unironically hailed as the reality. Interweaving quite a lot of visuals, Nelius juxtaposes this false accusation with the feminine surfers’ painstaking retellings of the abuses and persecutions that they combatted on all fronts. Intrinsically pushed by their fragile egos and hysterical insecurity, the male surfers, sponsors and judges’ insidious schemes to undermine feminine surfers come to the fore.
With heart-wrenching vulnerability, famend feminine surfers who had been on tour on the time, together with Pam Burridge, Wendy Botha, Jodie Cooper and Pauline Menczer, share their private tales of woe: the event of life-threatening anorexia as a tragic results of the sponsors’ industrial exploitation of their physique picture; the forcible outing of their queer identification and subsequent ostracism of queer girls from the game; the internalised misogyny they needed to battle within the absence of any monetary and psychological assist.
However what they did have, and what finally empowered them to overcome all odds in opposition to them, was their timeless love for browsing and for one another — a ardour that has lasted till the current day. It’s a bittersweet documentary, and whereas at occasions formulaic in its filmmaking methods, the way in which it tells the ladies’s inspiring tales is first-hand, empathetic and worthy of reward.