Minding the gap
skateboarding as a lens into society
The renaissance skateboard culture has been experiencing in the mainstream seems to have reached its pinnacle. In 2018 we were amazed by the excellent Mid 90s, Jonah Hill’s directorial debut (which you can read more about in Lodown’s upcoming WTF issue), while just last month we were introduced to experimental documentary Gnarleans, tracking the lives of young skateboarders in New Orleans.
Now though, in somewhat of a mix between the two, we have Minding the Gap, Hulu’s most celebrated documentary yet - the film was nominated for best documentary feature at the 91st Academy Awards and won the Special Jury Award for Breakthrough Filmmaking at last year’s Sundance Festival.
Director Bing Liu, who also produced, worked on cinematography, edited and starred in the film, set out to tackle the most pervasive of issues in society through the lens of skateboarders. Conversations about systemic racism and class struggle in the deindustrialized American rustbelt acquire great depth in light of the personal struggles of the characters on screen.
While you can definitely catch this documentary online in the comfort of your living room, we recommend you go out for a screening while you still can. A movie that deals as much with familial and personal conflict as it does with skateboarding, the depth of emotion is sure to have you shaken up by the end.