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How the yo-yo put a troubled young man on the path of playful salvation

Growing up in a poor, violence-stricken section of Baltimore in Maryland, Coffin Nachtmahr was bullied for having a stutter and not fitting into ‘any specific molds’. In high school, he was angry, prone to fights, and struggling with his identity, when he happened upon a video online that introduced him to a form of yo-yo known as ‘throwing’. Drawn in by throwing’s potential for creative self-expression, Nachtmahr found that the practice gave him comfort, confidence and a new sense of self. Before long, he had developed a crew of fellow throwers who also found throwing culture to be a means of transforming their lives amid a vortex of violence and negativity. With transfixing sequences of Nachtmahr’s virtuosic yo-yo chops, Darren Durlach and David Larson’s Throw is a rare story of a subculture whose adherents seem to be healed by their own idiosyncratic, high-flying verve.

Directors: Darren Durlach, David Larson

Website: Early Light Media

17 October 2016

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