Adam Pesce’s film Splinters is about a remote seaside village of Vanimo in Papua New Guinea where surfing is not just a hobby for them, but a way of life. This is a documentary, supplemented with uplifting music and fascinating glimpses into their rare culture, follows four local surfers in their journey of becoming a better surfer. The four of them compete with several others on the island in the country’s first-ever national surfing competition in the hopes of leading to a better life.
I left this film feeling very inspired. The dedication, the drive, and the commitment each character expressed in their love for surfing and how each one put their heart into their training because they believed the competition could possibly be their ticket off the island. Despite the lack of jobs, no access to economic or educational advancement, no running water or electrical power on the island, it did not act as a barrier of the infinite waves supplied by the ocean; their scarce lifestyle did not change their love and desire to surf.
This film should not be limited to just surfers because although the sport of surf is highly portrayed within the documentary, the themes of devotion and perseverance could be applied to any aspect of each individuals’ lives as well. Personally, I am not a surfer, but I took away so much insight and just as much emotion from the film as someone who surfs would. Those who dedicate their lives to surfing can relate to this film through their experiences and can connect with the characters by understanding the pressure and excitement involved within the sport; however, for those who do not surf, watching this surf documentary recognizes it for them.