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The Ravitz Report: Bra Boys

Nov. 30, 2012 | Alan Ravitz, MD, MS

Dr. Alan Ravitz, a child and adolescent psychiatrist at the Child Mind Institute, is an avid movie watcher who has a keen eye for the pleasures and insights to be found in all genres, from action flicks to intimate character studies. Each week Dr. Ravitz will recommend here a film for weekend viewing. Expect surprises, psychological twists, and a taste for emotional subtlety.

Back to surf movies. Bra Boys is a documentary about the Bra Boys, a notorious surf gang from an Australian suburb called Maroubra. These guys are incredible surfers—as well as being thugs and victims. I believe that all meaning (all everything) is contingent on context. The Bra Boys come from dysfunctional families; they abuse alcohol; they're intimidating bullies. Their gang is their support, their more functional (not much more) family. They're incredibly loyal to each other, and fiercely committed to surfing. Interesting, complex, confusing—like life. Good for everyone in the family older than 12 or so. 

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