The year is 1972. Kevin Naughton and Craig Peterson take their surfboards and cameras and head out around the world in order to find the perfect waves. It was a trip that lasted ten years and included places like El Salvador, Costa Rica, West Africa, the Sahara Desert, Mexico, France and Ireland. Their footage became “The Far Shore.”
Stunning photography and live surf action isn’t the only reason this film is worth seeing. Throughout the piece, as Naughton and Peterson reminisce, there are interviews with surfers such as Dawn, Doc Ewing and Tito Rosemberg. Bill Nichols, an author and film historian, also talks about the power of the documentary and the ethics that filmmakers need to have when making such a film.
I’ve never surfed, but during the late ‘80s and early ‘90s I could rarely be found without my skateboard under my feet … always searching for the perfect street spot or ditch … traveling great distances for what would often be a short ride. The journey was only part of the fun; the destination was everything. Surfers, like skateboarders, are one of the few groups of people who can truly understand that, and “The Far Shore” captures that spirit flawlessly. It doesn’t gloss over the danger involved or the bad times, either. It presents the search as honestly as possible for those who weren’t there — physically or mentally. If you’ve never been in such a mindset, but always wanted to be — or if you have been and want to relive it — this is the film for you.