Review – Resurface 

By Daniel Hart
Published: September 2, 2017 (Last updated: February 8, 2024)

A Netflix Original Documentary. A short one, in fact. It is only twenty-six minutes long. Resurface shows the use of surf therapy to help military veterans who suffer from PTSD and other traumatic injuries.

Is it good?

Resurface proves that you do not need to be the usual feature length to get your important points across. I lived with a war veteran whilst living in America. One night he completely broke down, got profusely angry and locked me out of the house. At the time, I was not mature enough to understand. From my perspective, I had no choice but to be incensed. He wanted my last beer and I had just finished work, so I refused to offer it. This was a defining lesson because, despite the many nights of watching him excessively drinking and telling me stories of his pain and reoccurring nightmares, I was still ignorant. I attached his anger to his personality rather than acknowledging his sadness. Strangely enough, we did become friends and I eventually understood.

What’s your point here?

Well, what really irks me is that war is one of the biggest businesses in the world, yet there is widespread failure to look after those who are mentally injured by it. Frighteningly, there is lack of awareness too.  The documentary makes the point of the suicide rates and that it is not the case of returning home and becoming accustomed to normal reality. These people need help and not a deadline to get better. They need lifetime support to find peace. Resurface, in its short space of time, highlights these facts. Surfing is not just a hobby, it is a way of trying to find peace. The documentary does not try to throw fancy facts at you and tentative build ups. It shows real people.

So it’s good then?

Is good the right word for this type of documentary? If anything, it is sad, but I am glad Netflix have released this to raise awareness. If anything, it caters to those who do not understand the issue and have a short attention span because it is not very long. The final important point is that if someone out there is suffering and sees this, it may help them realise that finding peace is a life long goal and not something that will be cured in a week with a pharmaceutical pick and mix. The only criticism I have, which contradicts my earlier point, is that I wish it was longer, but only because I want to learn more about these people’s lives.


Yes. It is important. Resurface makes the salient point, “their traumas live in their bodies”. This needs to be understood widely.

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