Bangla Surf Girls is an immersive documentary that takes us into the heart of a slum near Cox’s Bazar in Bangladesh, where we witness the transformation of young girls who join a local surf club and dare to dream of freedom and escape from a life of drudgery and abuse.
The documentary captures the raw emotions, the family dynamics, and the complex pressures of poverty. 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. Just like the ebb and flow of the waves, the viewer is taken from the light and joy that comes with a day of great waves to the darkness and unthinkable hardship which comes with poverty. What emerges is an unlikely and successful community experiment that has created real futures for some of the girls in our story.
The documentary builds towards an international competition in India. Family and societal pressure present unimaginable challenges but the girls emerge even more determined to change their destiny. It’s not something anyone could have imagined but that is the true power of documentary isn’t it?
We see the girls grow and evolve through the documentary. But what viewers will feel is the unflinching presence of our filmmaker Elizabeth D Costa, who immersed herself into the community for three years. Elizabeth has been a strong and constant presence in the lives of the girls who are used to empty promises and big let downs. The result is authentic and genuine story captured and narrated without filters or judgement.