"Minding the Gap"

This documentary is understanding the lives of boys from Rockford, IL who skateboard. I have watched three films about skateboarders over the past few months. I’m left with the same question. Are skateboarders sad and misunderstood or are they be happy and free? This documentary is raw and unapologetic. Domestic violence, financial restraints and race are focuses of the documentary.

Zack is older than much of his crew. He’s a father to Elliot, a cute and sweet boy, with Nina, a twenty-one year old woman. At first Nina seemed selfish and immature. Then you recognize she has many responsibilities and heartache. Her wisdom is remarkable. In regards to Zack, he knows who he is particularly why he drinks a lot. Yet it is cringeworthy to watch his often lack of action towards responsibility. Kiere is a young black man, marred by the death of his father and fear of being stuck in his hometown. He has a huge smile and incredible grasp of his emotions. He mostly hangs out with white kids. In the documentary, judging their lives is easy. Kiere remembers his father telling him, “prove them wrong” in regards to how black men can thrive against what black men are perceived to be. I took this to heart broadly as I watched.

I appreciate the documentary for not featuring a lot of subjects. Additional people are featured for perspective. Bing Liu, who wears many hats for the film, is a subject. He interviews his mother, Mengyue in a heartbreaking revelation.

You can stream this documentary on Hulu.