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Documentarian Adrien Cothier Follows ‘Train Surfers’ in Mumbai

Travel By
 Adrien Cothier
(Adrien Cothier/Vimeo)

 

Trains are such a popular mode of transportation in India that some passengers are often forced to ride with unsavory travel companions, such as chickens or other farm animals. That is, unless they choose to just hang on outside of the train.

A cross between parkour and train riding, “train surfing” is a growing sport among youth living in Mumbai. Adrien Cothier, a New York–based filmmaker who worked on the Wes Anderson movie Fantastic Mr. Fox, profiled the thrill-seekers in a short documentary that follows the “surfers” as they tempt fate on the trains. As much as the video showcases the adrenaline-pumping stunts, it profiles the young men who risk life and limb just for fun.

In an interview with the American Film Institute, Cothier said this of the subjects of his documentary:

“[In] the rugged outskirts of Mumbai, these kids are in many ways behaving in the same way that New York kids would. In this way it’s a story about friendship and I’d like people to feel it….But I cannot deny that it’s also a story about how being trapped in a life of poverty with very few chances of changing your life and how this will impact the decisions you make as a young person.”

Watch the documentary Train Surfers below.

—RealClearLife Staff