I've been a surfer since I was about 10 years old. I have family in San Diego and I've been going out there since I was a baby. I have witnessed many crazy and hostile acts in the water and on the beach between surfers who are "locals" and surfers who come into town snaking waves. But I have never seen localism like the way it was displayed in the documentary Bra Boys which is directed by Sunny Abberton and narrated by Russell Crowe.
The film is about one of the most notorious surf gangs in the world, the Bra Boys. They dubbed the name "bra" from their local beach and suburb of Maroubra just outside of Sydney Australia. The "gang" consists of around 50 to 100 members, most of which bare the brotherhood tattoo. They have their own special hand shake as well. But not just anyone can be a Bra Boy. You have to be willing to be there for your "brothers" whenever needed and you better bring it while in the ocean surfing. So if you're sleeping in the middle of the night and you get a call saying a bunch of the boys are brawling with 50 off duty officers at a local pub....you better be willing to haul ass.
At the core of the story and the founders of the Bra Boy gang are the Abberton brothers consisting of Sunny, Koby, and Jai. The side story in the film follows the murder trial of Jai who was accused of murdering a fellow acquaintance who was once his friend. Jai is pleading self defense as he claims the guy made him and his girlfriend get into a car, then pulled out a gun and said lets do this, impllying rape and possibly kill the woman. Jai fought with the guy got a hold of the gun and shot him in self defense. I wont give away the final verdict but it gets really intense as we realize how big of an impact these Bra Boys have on the community both positive and non-positive.
The filmmakers use some great archive footage as well as live footage of the Boys and their crazy antics, whether it be catching a 15 ft barreling wave that's inches away from jagged rocks, punching police, lighting themselves on fire and jumping off of cliffs into the ocean, or jumping on top of moving busses and dancing on them as they drive away. These guys rule the city and do as they please and it's damn entertaining to watch. There's a big scene towards the end of the film that was downright scary as they show a rival gang of about 100 come into town looking for the boys and smashing everything in sight. Another one that shows Sunny and Kobi in suits meeting with another rival gang leader also in a suit, it's right out of a Mafia film and shows that these guys aren't fucking around. But what's so great about this film is that it also has EXCELLENT surf footage. The boys can surf, that's for damn sure. They are some of the best in the world. Bra Boys gets 4 outa 5.