The Facets Cinémathèque is located at 1517 W. Fullerton Ave. in Chicago. For more information on films playing in the Cinémathèque, please call 773-281-4114. To order advance tickets online, visit the TicketWeb website by clicking here.
OFFICIAL SELECTION Tribeca Film Fest
"Deceptively clad as a surfing film...but more pointedly an engrossing, endlessly surprising examination of social hierarchies, clan rivalries, and economic and cultural change within the region... a great documentary" -Filmmaker Magazine
"An incisive portrait of a community given to internecine rivalry, petty jealousy and shifting gender politics" -TimeOut NY
"[Filmmaker Adam Pesce] creates riveting contrasts between the simplicity of their sport and the complexity of the politics that surround it" -TimeOut Chicago
At some point during the 1980s, an Australian pilot left his surfboard behind in the remote seaside village of Vanimo in Papua New Guinea. Now, 20 years later, surfing has become a way of life in the village, and an important status symbol. There are even two rival surf clubs: Vanimo Surf Club and Sunset Surf Club. Splinters shows surfers from both clubs as they prepare for the very first surf championships. While in the early days the surfers used to make their boards with "splinters" from palm trees, they now ride the waves on second-hand surfboards.
Splinters profiles several villagers in their quest to become professional surfers, including Angelus and Ezekiel, who are two friends destined for greatness but with distinct approaches to their goal of getting on the national surfing team. Self-assured and boisterous, Angelus is confident he is the best surfer in the nation while the talented yet shy Ezekiel lets his surfing do the talking.
The upcoming inaugural Papua New Guinea National Surfing Title is the ultimate ground for this surfing ensemble and the winner gets to train with world-class surfing athletes in Australia. Talent is a must for all of them, but coming from village life, where running water is scarce and life options are limited, there is more at stake than just surfing glory. Splinters is at once a visceral dramatic narrative about a village grappling with its identity and young heroes using their surfboards to carry them to a better life. There is only one way to make that dream come true, and that's by becoming the best surfer on the island.