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


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.

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