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Surfwise (2007)Surfwise (2007)

Dr. Dorian "Doc" Paskowitz is eighty-five when we meet him in this documentary about his remarkable family. After medical training at Stanford, a respectable career as a physician, two failed marriages, and then a sexcapade around the world, "Doc" married his third wife Juliette. They decided on a carefree life of radical non-conformity centered around surfing. For the next twenty-five years they raised their nine kids (eight boys, one girl) in three different 24' RV campers. Daily surfing and strict diets were compulsory, formal schooling of any kind was prohibited, and money was scarce. Their whimsical lives as vagabonds sounds fun, but "Doc's" uncompromising idealism and tyrannical ways amounted to physical and emotional abuse according to interviews with his adult kids. After ten years of bitter acrimony as the adult kids tried to make their way in the real world with absolutely no preparation for it, the family meets for an emotional reunion in the last part of the film. Even a badly broken family is better than no family, weeps Juliette at the reunion, but this film makes you wonder. Jonathan Paskowitz helped to produce the film.

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