I recently saw Throw, an award winning short film made by Early Light Media. It’s shot in Baltimore and documents one of the more popular and colorful characters on the Yo-Yo scene, Coffin Nachtmahr .
Throw is a documentary about Coffin, but it’s really about so much more. They present the city of Baltimore in a light that most people don’t often see. They also provide insight into who Coffin Nachtmahr is, what makes him so unique, and his relationship with yo-yoing. Throw reaches beyond Coffin and his unique personal style and exceptional yo-yo skills, and shows us how his journey has been a positive force for people around him.
The film is also shot really well. It shows Baltimore, not as the violent and drug infested city that many have come to expect, but as a really nice city with some great murals, great architecture, a formidable skyline, and perhaps most surprising, lush green parks.
When you first meet Coffin, it’s hard not to be surprised at his appearance (This is true in real life as well as in this film). He looks wild. His creative spirit comes through loud and clear; specifically, his cloths, hair and overall personal style. He is like nobody else I’ve ever met. On top of his personal style, he is a seriously good yo-yo player. This is what makes the movie worth watching. The blend of Coffin’s unique presence, his amazing yo-yo skills, and insight into his journey.
As the movie unfolds you get a strong sense of who Coffin is and how yo-yoing is an integral part of his identity. Coffin explains how discovering yo-yoing had a profound impact on his life. He shares his love of yo-yoing and tells how it filled a void in his life and was a catalyst for positive changes. It helped him gain confidence in his uniqueness, re-direct his life away from negative forces, and find comradery with like-minded people.
His story is not unusual for a black kid who comes from a dangerous city (Baltimore is consistently among the most dangerous cities in the US) with some serious challenges and pitfalls, and emerges as a man who is totally comfortable in his own skin, develops serious yo-yo skills, and ultimately, through this film, serves as inspiration for others
Perhaps one of the most enjoyable parts of Throw is if shows us Coffin’s yo-yoing skills. He explains yo-yoing as “an extension of himself,” and when you see him throw, you totally understand what he means. I think this is what makes the movie so good. It shows a connection between a man and the sport of yo-yoing, and tells the story in an inspiring way that makes for great viewing.
The Movie is not available for viewing at this time. But you can see the trailer below.