8:00 PM, 3rd September, 2009
Searching for Michael Peterson is an Australian documentary that tells the strange and tragic tale of Michael Peterson, a legend of 70s Australian surfing. In fact, for a number of years, MP was practically unbeatable in the water. Unfortunately, he was only really comfortable in the waves, and his behaviour on land was rather anti-social to say the least. And then, all of a sudden, the reigning world champion disappeared from the scene, never to return.
The tale is told via a number of interviews with Michael's friends and relatives, interspersed with impressive footage of MP (and others) surfing the waves; and also footage away from the beach that sets the tone and the feel of Michael's world perfectly.
If you're into classic Australian surfing at all, you'll recognise many of the names in the cast list ((ndash)) they're legends in their own right ((ndash)) but they all pay tribute to MP ((ndash)) and many even seem to be just a little scared of him... and often you get the feeling that's exactly what he wanted. Their stories are fascinating. Not only because of the bizarre, impressive and even hilarious antics that MP got up to, but because these guys are real "characters" ((ndash)) skin cracked and broken by years in the sun, voices dripping strong Aussie accents, memories perhaps a little drug influenced...
This will be the only screening of Searching for Michael Peterson shown in Canberra. Its tour of the east coast of Australia has been showing to full houses, but perhaps Canberra was considered not to have enough of a surfing community to have a large crowd. Sad really, because even as a non-surfer I still found the story thoroughly engaging and quite tragic. Don't miss this opportunity to catch this small Aussie gem.