Between the Lines

Narrated by acclaimed writer and director JOHN MILIUS (Apocalypse Now-Big Wednesday), BETWEEN THE LINES explores the Vietnam War through the prism of the surfing sub-culture. This documentary film offers unique insight into the dramatic effect that the Vietnam War and draft had on young American men who rode waves.

This film explores the choice that most draft age surfers faced during the Vietnam War era: either go to war or evade the draft. It was one or the other. Between the Lines delves into the lives of two surfers who choose opposite paths, Pat Farley and Brant Page.

“This is the soil from which APOCALYPSE NOW grew out of; it's as simple as that.”
- John Milius

“An Extraordinary, compassionate, and compelling documentary.”
- Drew Kampion, The Surfers Path

“You did a wonderful job and helped me to untie a few more knots. It sat with me all night.”
- John Prietto, Vietnam combat veteran & Army lifeguard



Watching "Between the Lines," I found a piece of my own story reflected in the tumultuous waves and the war-torn lives of the surfers depicted. Though I wasn't a surfer, the dichotomy of choices presented in the documentary—whether to fight or to flee—echoed the very decisions I had faced during the Vietnam War era. I too had to navigate the draft, ultimately serving my country in a conflict that would leave deep and enduring marks on my soul.

Returning home, I felt alienated, much like the veterans in the film. Our service, intended to be honorable, was often met with disdain rather than gratitude. It was as if we were outcasts in our own land, our sacrifices unseen or unappreciated. I often felt more like a criminal than a veteran. This internal conflict, this feeling of being misunderstood and vilified, drew me to characters like Bane in the Batman series. He, too, was an outcast, judged by his exterior and his differences, rather than his intentions and struggles. As a Batman fan, I'm deeply aware that the characters I identify with may be seen as bad actors when compared with the reputation of the Dark Knight himself.

"Between the Lines" served not just as a documentary but as a mirror to my past, helping untangle the complex emotions of my post-war experience. I saw in Pat Farley a reflection of my own journey—someone who faced the war head-on and returned changed, seeking solace in something as simple and pure as surfing. And in Brant Page, I saw the path not taken, the alternative that haunted every soldier who served.

I've watched the film numerous times, each viewing helping me to process a little more of my past, offering a form of healing through its candid and compassionate storytelling. I feel a strong urge to share this film with other veterans, believing that it could help them as it has helped me, serving as a tool for understanding and perhaps closure. The way the film captures the era, the choices we made, and the lives we lived—it’s more than just history. It’s a tribute to our struggles and our resilience. Justin Taylor II




"Between the Lines: The True Story of Surfers and the Vietnam War" (2008) is a compelling documentary directed by Scott Bass and Ty Ponder, which delves into the Vietnam War's profound impact on the surf culture. The film centers on the contrasting lives of two surfers, Pat Farley and Brant Page, whose experiences encapsulate the broader narrative of the surf community during this tumultuous period.

Pat Farley, a heavy combat veteran, chose to volunteer for service in Vietnam and faced the harsh realities of war, which left him and many veterans with enduring psychological scars. On the other end of the spectrum, Brant Page opted to evade the draft, seeking refuge in the Hawaiian Islands until his eventual arrest by the FBI. Through their stories, "Between the Lines" explores the dichotomy within the surf community—between those who went to war and those who avoided it, each facing unique consequences and moral dilemmas​​.

The documentary is richly textured with archival footage, still images, home movies, and interviews, not only chronicling the personal journeys of Farley and Page but also capturing the broader context of the Vietnam War's impact on surfing. The film's narrative is further enriched by insights from other surfers who either served in Vietnam or evaded the draft, providing a multifaceted perspective on how the war influenced the surf culture and its ethos​​.

Narrated by acclaimed writer and director John Milius, "Between the Lines" has received praise for its exploration of the surfing sub-culture during the Vietnam War era, offering unique insight into how the draft and the war affected young American men who were passionate about surfing. The documentary has been lauded as an extraordinary and compassionate work that resonates with veterans and surfers alike, shedding light on a pivotal moment in history when the paths of surfing and warfare intersected. The film has also been recognized at the X-Dance Film Festival, winning the "Best Documentary" award​​.

"Between the Lines" is not just a historical documentary; it's a profound examination of choices, consequences, and the indomitable spirit of those who found solace and identity in the waves, even as the world around them was consumed by conflict. The documentary stands as a testament to the resilience of the human spirit and the unbreakable bonds forged through shared passion and collective hardship.


Between The Lines Trailer- Surfers During the Vietnam War




We are pleased to announce that starting in the spring of 2010, Between the Lines will be broadcasting on most PBS stations across the nation. Broadcast dates and times will vary, so please check your local listings or with your local PBS station for air dates and times.


The documentary film Between The Lines was awarded the prestigious "Best Documentary" award at the X-Dance Film Festival January 20th 2009 in Salt Lake City Utah. X-Dance is the premier action sports industry film festival.

"We are stoked," said Scott Bass, writer and co-director of Between The Lines. "It's an honor to receive this award from the distinguished judges at X-Dance, especially when you look at the extraordinary films produced this year. It is an honor we share with and dedicate to the surfers and veterans of the Vietnam War era.


On September 28, BETWEEN THE LINES screened as a special exhibition along with the 30th anniversary of the Epic film BIG WEDNESDAY at the New York City Surf Film Festival.


This final veteran’s benefit screening brought total donations of over $8800 to support the Veterans Village San Diego – Rick Thomas Counseling Center and the Long Beach VA Hospital prosthetics lab.

David and Karen Barnes’ winning bid of $2000 secured the BETWEEN THE LINES signature surfboard and provided a significant donation to the veterans. Thanks to Dave as well as, Jim Phillips and Headline Graphics for providing this brilliant work of art.

We were pleased to have many special guests at this event. We were especially honored to host a special group of veterans and their counselors from the Westwood VA hospital involved with their surfing program. Also several folks of notable Hollywood talent showed up to support the cause.


The sold out show raised over $4400 for the Veterans Village San Diego, Rick Thomas Counseling Center

Pure Frustration Productions is proud to announce that the first veteran's benefit screening of their documentary film BETWEEN THE LINES sold out, and raised over $4,400 dollars for the Veterans Village San Diego-Rick Thomas Counseling Center.

Narrated by acclaimed writer and director John Milius (Apocalypse Now-Big Wednesday etc.), BETWEEN THE LINES explores the Vietnam War through the prism of the surfing sub-culture. The film offers unique insight into the dramatic effect that the Vietnam War and draft had on young American men who rode waves.

Zach Weisberg of Surfer Magazine wrote, "Just because you have a great story to tell doesn't mean it will be told correctly, the heart of the matter never quite reveals itself. BETWEEN THE LINES delivers on its promise. Two surfers unflinchingly and with brutal honesty recount their experiences during the Vietnam War, and with the aid of John Milius' spot-on narration, clever writing, and precious archival footage, a great story reveals itself."

The next screening will take place on the evening of August 21, at the The Beverly Hills Fine Arts Theatre. All proceeds from this event will benefit the Rick Thomas Veterans Counseling Center.




Pat Farley

In the Mid-1960’s the Vietnam War and draft presented most young surfer's with a difficult and life altering choice; appear for induction or evade the draft. Some however faced it head on.

After voluntarily enlisting in the Army, Pat Farley’s Drill Sergeant convinced him that service in Vietnam would be an adventure he couldn’t pass up. Pat volunteered for combat in Vietnam.

Pat served with an elite Army Ranger unit in heavy combat where in the relatively short span of a year, his actions would lead the rank of Sergeant.

The stresses and memories of combat left Pat and many veterans with a lifetime of coping. Instead of turning to drugs or alcohol, Pat stuck with Coca Cola's in a bottle, but an incessant passion for surfing and developing his artistic talents would ultimately prove to be the healing force.

Pat is a world class surfer, surfboard shaper, author, and  filmmaker living in Santa Cruz, California.


Brant Page

On the run and hiding out from a war he did not believe in, Brant discovered his nirvana among the spectacular, empty waves on the Big Island of Hawaii.

After eventually being arrested for draft evasion, Brant was sent back to California where he failed his military physical and returned to the islands.

Brant Page and his new wife Kim spent their small savings on a modest property in Kona. He surfed daily and did a lot of digging in the lava hardened slopes.

Almost 40 years later Brant and Kim cultivate the same land. They had built a beautiful home from scrap lumber that others had discarded. They still sustain off the land and produce premium Kona coffee. They've raised three sons and continually cared for multiple foster children.

Equally at home on a shortboard or longboard, Brant is an accomplished surfer and waterman.



This website was creatd to generate PR for the movie, BETWEEN THE LINES, as well as where one could buy the Between The Lines Limited Edition Book.
Many incredible and never-before seen photographs were graciously contributed to BETWEEN THE LINES from personal collections. So many, in fact, that we had no choice but to immortalize these images for all to appreciate. We are proud to present a companion book also entitled, BETWEEN THE LINES. This elegant 164 page full color hard bound coffee table book presents the words and experiences of surfers during the Vietnam War era. While the book is intended to compliment the film , the format allows the reader to understand and enjoy the book without the benefit of the movie.

After the movie's promotional machine ceased, the's domain registration eventually expired. I recently discovered that the's domain had become available. I bought it with the goal of recreating a limited version of the site from its archived pages. I did not want someone else to purchase the domain and re-purpose the site for something that had nothing in common with the original website.

Since the site will not be exactly as you remember it, please be indulgent.
I believe that the story of these men is still important and should be available online.
Now let's take a nostalgic stroll back to the release of Between The Lines.