Review: Backtrack Boys
DVD: Backtrack Boys (2018)
It’s been well documented on our podcasts that cinematic superheroes have fallen out of favour with me for a few years now (I’ve not watched the previous 4 Marvel movies that have been released, and have no strong desire to do so in the future), and that I’d much rather watch a documentary about the real life superheroes that walk/have walked this big blue marble, but are unfortunately not known by as many people as say Tony Stark.
Rob Stewart was one such person in the superb Sharkwater Extinction, another is Bernie Shakeshaft: a man who devotes his life to running a youth program in Australia that gives both male and female young offenders another shot at making something positive out of their lives and keeping them from reoffending…of which the program has a 75% success rate.
Bernie’s mantra is 3 simple rules:
- Keep them alive
- Keep them out of trouble
- Help them to follow their dreams and passions in life
Part of the program involves the youths interacting with dogs (who themselves were once feral and thrown out of the homes they once had) in a dog jumping exhibition team that travels around entertaining the local crowds…to much applause and smiles from everyone.
Backtrack Boys concentrates on the stories of Zach, Alfie and Rusty; 3 youths who are each fighting their own demons.
Director Catherine Scott followed their journey for 2 years, and the result is a heartwarming and tearjerking coming-of-age story that in equal parts will have you smiling and crying.
Following the boys for 2 years of their lives you become completely invested in what is going to happen to them, and when Bernie Shakeshaft breaks down in tears at one point, you’ll be pausing the movie to reach for the tissues yourself.
This however is not a sad documentary, it is completely inspiring and shows that there are people in this world who are truly making a positive difference to the lives of fellow humans, instead of making everything about themselves.
A documentary that everyone should watch.
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