Bra Boys (2007) – Review

2 1/2 Stars

This very one-sided yet entertaining documentary chronicles the notorious Australian surf gang of the same name and the Abberton brothers involvement in a messy murder case. The Bra Boys rule Maroubra beach sometimes with a thugs tendency for violence, this is a documentary about local ism over anything else. The film veers toward propaganda on a few occasions, we are meant to believe this gang is a bunch of good guys protecting their beach from the upper class suburbanites who just as much see them displaced. It’s hard to root for these guys when a brawl with off-duty cops sends 44 police officers to the hospital. Almost forgotten amongst the hooligan antics is the undeniably talent surfing skills of the Abberton brothers. On the occasions when they attack 50ft waves with no hesitation the documentary really flows. However large chunks of the running time are dedicated to the court case against Jai Abberton, who’s on trial for the murder of a fellow Bra Boy. The attempts at humanizing the leaders of a violent gang come off as hollow and forced. Undeniably compelling but ultimately too unbalanced to be taken seriously. Australia’s own Russel Crowe narrates.

Director: Sunny Abberton
Stars: Kody Abberton, Jai Abberton, Kelly Slater

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