Minding the Gap (2018)
August 18, 2018 12:15 PM - Subscribe

Three young men bond together to escape volatile families in their Rust-Belt hometown. As they face adult responsibilities, unexpected revelations threaten their decade-long friendship.

Anyone else watch this one on Hulu? It's a documentary that is a little bit about skateboarding and a lot about race, class, masculinity, and how three longtime friends, including the filmmaker, confront the legacies of family violence.

New Yorker review

New York Times review
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious (10 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
This movie is also a portrait of a Midwest that we don't see a ton about: working-class, multi-racial, neither big-city nor rural.

I feel like I should have more sympathy for Zack, but I kind of feel like he's a monster and a lost cause. I really want Keire and Nina to be ok. I want Bing Liu to take Hollywood by storm and make blockbuster action movies if that's what he wants, because he'd be so freaking good at it.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 12:29 PM on August 18, 2018 [1 favorite]

Rockford MeFite reporting in. Good documentary. I mostly don't know these people and avoided spoilers, so the parallel stories of abuse were surprises as they emerged and I thought skillfully and considerately told. I did have hope for Zack, but he will take years to process what he was just starting to realize.

I'm also looking forward to what Bing Liu does next. I thought he handled including himself well and appreciated his nod to his own growth with the bookended conversations about what he was making ("I want to make a montage" vs. the conversation where he connects the theme of the, now, full film for Kiere.)

Thanks for posting this!
posted by michaelh at 3:02 PM on August 20, 2018 [2 favorites]

I read that New York Times review on Friday and had no idea this was on Hulu! Anyone know of an instantwatcher type site that tells you what’s on? Their interface is even worse than Netflix for discovery.
posted by Clustercuss at 5:35 PM on August 20, 2018

It's screening in NYC this week.

What struck me is that Bing's mother's relationship with his stepfather began when the man stalked her (she says he followed her home from work); I'm inferring that she'd been socialized to defer to men.

We also see that Kiere's mother is in an abusive relationship(the man is depicted telling her that she was allowed only 5 minutes with the filmmakers) and are not told how she gets away.

I would have liked to know more about Nina's background too: how her parents' home life contrasts with her aunt and uncle's.

I don't have much sympathy for Zach either...he strongly reminds me of the now ex of a family friend. And if he DOES decide to do something about his self medicating, in much of the US addiction therapy has been fobbed off on evangelical cults.
posted by brujita at 11:13 PM on August 21, 2018

Billboards about local (both private and public) services are frequently shown, but we're not told if the subjects are even thinking about using them.
posted by brujita at 9:39 PM on August 22, 2018

Wow this movie was just totally gutting and hypnotic all at once. I grew up skateboarding with a group of friends just like this one, except in another universe where parents are loving and supportive and raise their kids in an area resembling a functioning and working version of society. We all grew up, went to college, got jobs...go figure. There is footage of us in someone's parents basement somewhere fuckin around street skating just the same as Bing and his crew (except let's be real, these guys are good). But we were so lucky and so privileged. Skateboarding was a creative outlet but not an escape from anything except for suburban mundanity.

I love the shots of the empty skate spots around Rockford between interviews and footage and exploring what these kids have gone through. When you grow up street skating you just never look at stair sets or concrete ledges or benches the same way ever again. You permanently look at the world differently. It absolutely changes you forever.
posted by windbox at 1:08 PM on August 25, 2018 [4 favorites]

This got nominated for an Oscar! I think RBG will probably win, but I liked this better.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 6:04 AM on January 22, 2019 [1 favorite]

This was tremendous.
posted by MoonOrb at 9:42 PM on January 28, 2019

This was so moving and beautiful, so loving, compassionate and honest. The cinematography was absolutely transporting, magical. I am in awe of Bing Liu and his eye, his ear, his way of opening space for people to share deeply. I can't recall a more thoughtful exploration of masculinity or class.
posted by latkes at 10:00 PM on March 6, 2019

That was a hard watch. Liu seems like a major new talent as a filmmaker.
posted by octothorpe at 8:55 AM on February 23, 2020 [1 favorite]

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