Review: WHIRLYBIRD Tells the Crazy True Story of Married Los Angeles Reporters in the '90s and the Price They Paid to Be the Best

I was able to view the documentary Whirlybird ahead of its release this week, and I was blown away at the incredible true story that unfolded. The doc follows the story of self-made Los Angeles reporters Bob Tur (now known as Zoey Tur) and Marika Tur. The pair began dating in the early ‘80s, when Bob was beginning to chase down LA area news, selling his videos to news stations and making a name for himself in the business. Marika took to the lifestyle immediately, and they got married and had two kids as they continued to work tirelessly reporting LA news.

Once they found that traffic was a major deterrent to getting them to their locations quickly, they invested in a helicopter to up the ante of their reporting. It was amazing to see their points of view, as they were the eyes behind the videos I grew up seeing in the Los Angeles area that followed the infamous O.J. Simpson chase, the 1992 riots, the Rodney King beating and verdict, and so many other memorable news moments.

Behind the scenes, this family was falling apart as Bob struggled with his gender identity, and inflicted abuse on his wife and the co-worker they had employed.

Zoey and Marika’s kids appear throughout the doc and talk about the unusual circumstances that their parents raised them in. Zoey Tur now seems much more well-adjusted, but lives alone as a result of the pain her family went through in the final years of their marriage.

It’s a fascinating and heartbreaking story, and it was such an interesting perspective for a kid who grew up in Southern California. It’s a story unlike any I’ve seen before, and I recommend it to anyone who likes a good documentary.

Whirlybird is available In Theaters and On Demand tomorrow, August 6th.