Breath (2017)

“There’s fear in all of us … It’s how you live with it that makes you who you are.” The directorial debut of actor Simon Baker (Land of the Dead), Breath is a unique and poetic coming-of-age drama set within the surf culture of late 1970’s Australia. Two teenage punks, “Pikelet” (Samson Coulter) and “Loonie” (Ben Spence), find a mentor in aging surfer “Sando” (Baker), who teaches them the ways of surfing along with a philosophy of living beyond the “ordinary” In the meantime, Sando has frequent run-ins with his longtime suffering wife, “Eva” (Elizabeth Debicki), a former competitive skier who has suffered a career-ending injury. The film was adapted from a 2008 novel of the same name by Australian author Tim Winton and filmed in the small coastal town of Denmark (population: 2,558) in Western Australia. In an interview, Baker remarked, “Tim’s book viscerally captures the restless curiosity and yearning for identity that often defines our coming of age.” The film boasts solid acting, an interesting storyline and awesome cinematography (it’s also great to see an intelligent film about teenagers in the pre-social media era!). Highly recommended!

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