I wasn’t expecting to see what I saw in this trailer. It starts off portraying the natural, native spirit of surfing in a remote coastal culture. It looks like the anti-surf movie, a story grounded in the roots of wave riding. Then it turns. And it turns hard. “Splinters” looks to be a true documentary, not a surf film intoxicated by tube shots and sponsored yacht trips to remote breaks. As the title implies, this is a story about what happens when the norms of an exotic, insular island culture clash with the harsh, jagged edge of commercial surfing.
“The Highest Pass” is a documentary about seven followers of a contemporary spiritual guru named Anand who set out on motorcycles along one of the world’s most dangerous roads in northern India to witness, possibly, their teacher fulfill his vision of dying in an accident at age 27.
The trailer shows us the possibility for a film that seemingly exposes the innards of a distant mountain culture often shrouded by our pining for its surface-level wilderness and commercialized adventure. I would love to hike in this part of the world, no question about it. However, there is always something else going on in the places we love to explore beyond the places we love to explore.
Color me intrigued. It comes out in April and hopefully makes it to a nearby theater.