Minding the Gap | Chicago Reader

Minding the Gap

Though it runs just 93 minutes, this cinema-verite documentary by Bing Liu manages to feel like an epic. Liu shot it over a few years and in that time got to know his subjects so well that he came to consider their entire lives. He also covers a lot of thematic ground—this is at once an uncommonly sensitive depiction of skateboarding culture, an elegy for urban, blue-collar America, and a sobering meditation on domestic violence. Shot in the director’s hometown of Rockford, Illinois, Minding the Gap starts when the primary subjects, Keire (who's black) and Zack (who's white), are in their late teens and early 20s, respectively. The two young men met over skateboarding but discovered they were both abused as children and were using similar methods to cope with it. Liu follows them as they struggle toward adulthood, generating an air of great tragedy while grounding the film in recognizable everyday detail.

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