Film recommendation #8: MINDING THE GAP
„Skate boarding serves as a lifeline in this deeply moving and intimate portrait of friendship, identity and masculinity in today’s America.” Anja Fröhner
MINDING THE GAP by Bing Liu
Bing Liu skateboards behind his friends Zack and Keire through run-down parks, past crumbling facades and abandoned houses. The skateboarder clique has become a kind of substitute family for this group of youths from a rundown district of Rockford in Illinois. Avid filmmaker Bing captures the lives of his friends away from the skate park: Zack's life is turned upside down when his girlfriend Nina suddenly becomes pregnant. The relationship soon begins to crumble and Zack, plagued by self-doubt and frustration, seeks solace in the bottle. Keire, who longs for reconciliation with his father, has not yet found his place in a multicultural society. And for Bing himself, it's time to confront his mother with a dark chapter from his own past.
The lyrical debut work of Bing Liu was created over a period of several years. The filmmaker succeeds in dealing with his friends in an extraordinary and highly emotional way to show the complexity of a biased, "difficult" youth.