Weep for the brave surfer girls of Bangladesh.
Bangladesh is the sorta place women’s rights advocate Malala Yousafzai would love to turn on its head and shake by the ankles till all the loose change falls outta its pockets.
Wives doused with nitric acid, necklace and earrings melting into skin. Murders over dowery disputes. Husbands striking wives over the head with bricks because they don’t get cold water from the refrigerator fast enough during iftar.
A bleak place to be a gal.
But then there are the Surf Girls of Cox’s Bazar.
InSync Media and director Elizabeth D. Costa have created a documentary that shows how surfing has given three girls from Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh’s main surfing hub, a chance at escaping the brutal black male patriarchy.
Per the presser,
Shobe, Ayesha and Suma break away from the drudgery of their lives by joining a surf club in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh. The girls fight family pressure and social judgement, for a few hours on the waves. They gain confidence as their natural skill and prowess gains attention and praise. Soon they are poised to make history as Bangladesh’s first women surfers. The odds are stacked against them but the girls refuse to give up. Balancing the freedom of the waves with the restrictive realities of their circumstances, we experience the thrill and struggle of coming-of-age in a developing country.
It takes a stone cold heart not to be moved, maybe even a little choked up, by the two-minute trailer.
We hear 14-year-old Shobe say, “I don’t dwell on the past. I think about the future. I choose my path. And now I am free.”
(Not the Orange County I-just-dropped-the-kids-off-at-school-and-now- I-can-drink-my-chai-latte-in -peace-free but Bangladeshi free.)
“My dream is to go to different countries and participate in surfing competitions and be famous. If my dad sees me on TV when I’m famous then he will come back.”
We hear from Suma, The Provider, who’s been responsible for her families income since she was seven. When she sells eggs on the beach, she stops to watch the surfers.
“I have no other dream left.”
Ayesha is deemed The Survivor. Her father is abusive and believes all girls who surf are sluts.
Her dream is to be a lifeguard on the beach.
She’s quoted with a sullen face,
“Why is every day such a chore. My mind just escapes to the sea. I mean, surfing is just mixed in my blood.”