Taking Back the Waves

Documentaries 1 hr  16 mins 2005
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5 | 11 ratings

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Cass Collier and Ian Armstrong push the limits in Cape Town's big waves, and go on to claim competitive victory. But it was Cass's father Ahmed, who resisted apartheid restrictions and coached his son to become a champion. Later, Cass echoes his father's earlier efforts, as he and Ian teach a new generation of children to surf, but they find that reversing the effects of the past is not easy.

Cass Collier, Ian Armstrong

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Movie Details
Synopsis In Cape Town, at Africa's southern tip, Ahmed Collier pursues surfing determinedly, fighting Apartheid racial restrictions to take his family to the beach, and teach his children to surf. His young son Cass becomes a strong competitor, and Ahmed helps him onto the world professional surfing tour, hoping that his son will become a champion.

Cass perseveres, but battles to compete effectively against the top pro surfers of the time. When he returns to South Africa after a few years of touring the world, things are changing rapidly. Apartheid is officially dead.

Cass befriends hot local surfer Ian Armstrong, and re-interprets his father's wishes. He and Ian grow their hair into dreadlocks and forge a surfing path together, pushing their limits in the big waves of the Cape Peninsula. They go on to claim international competitive success, but at home in South Africa, the two surfers find little recognition for their efforts.

And Ahmed asks what legacy is his son going to leave for surfing. The film follows Cass and Ian as they enthusiastically re-focus their attention on teaching poor, mostly black children from Cape Town's townships, to surf. It's a rewarding experience, but it's not without irony as the selection process for a Development team reflects the wider issues in sports transformation in South Africa.

With exciting surfing sequences, atmospheric visuals of the Cape environment, and a compelling personal and political story, this is a unique contribution to the surf film genre, and South Africa's first full length surfing film.
Athletes Cass Collier, Ian Armstrong
Genres Surfing Documentaries
Director Nicolaas Hofmeyr
Writer Nicolaas Hofmeyr
Studio Uhuru Productions
Rating not rated
Runtime 1 hr  16 mins
Language English | Stereo
Captions English, English
Download SD | 848x480 (887.76 MB)
Stream SD | 960x540