Minding the gap documentary. Minding the Gap review

Minding the Gap movie review & film summary (2018)

minding the gap documentary

Executive producers: Gordon Quinn, Steve James, Betsy Steinberg, Sally Jo Fifer, Justine Nagan, Chris White. When Bing returns to Rockford, Zack is in a relationship with a woman named Nina, who has just turned twenty-one, and they have a newborn son named Elliot. In the movie's most vivid instance of self-awareness, he asks the filmmaker if they're doing the sort of interview where he pretends that the camera's not on him, or the sort where he acknowledges it. You had incredible access to your subjects, Zach and Keire; how did you get that trust and maintain it as you were making the film? The details of the film make for an exemplary work of reporting. The film was never going to justify him hitting her as something that was right and that was always the line for me. His infectious smile masks a startling temper, clearly tied to his absentee father, which he takes out on inanimate objects — as when he smashes his skateboard, or that of a local bully.

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‘Minding The Gap’ Wins Three IDA Documentary Awards

minding the gap documentary

It would be impressive even without the palpable sense of connection and understanding that Liu brings to the material, but its easygoing intimacy is what puts it over the top. She says that Zack has beaten her, shows a scar that she says he caused, describes his acts of violence—and, when Bing asks how he should bring the matter up with Zack, she asks him not to do so at all, saying that it would be the end of their relationship. This movie doesn't just give you the general outlines of its main characters' lives and send you out wiping away tears; it paints a vivid picture of lower-middle class life in a depressed American city Rockford, Illinois that movies rarely show us. As for our fearless videographer, Chinese-American Liu is glimpsed only at the edge of the frame, or in blink-and-you-miss-it selfies, until quite late in the film, when he confronts his mom about his abusive upbringing. Most charismatic of this colorblind trio is white kid Zack.

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Minding the Gap

minding the gap documentary

The focus of the film's marketing is the skateboarding, but while that footage both archival and recent is elegantly shot and cut by Liu, a natural born filmmaker, it forms a small portion of the running time. The material on this site may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, cached or otherwise used, except with the prior written permission of Condé Nast. What kind of fractured home life compels these young men to take to the streets, risking serious injury for the rush of freedom and illusion of control skating brings? How did it turn into Minding the Gap? In his quest to understand why so many of his peers in the skateboarding community ran away from home when they were younger, Bing follows 23-year-old Zack as he becomes a father and 17-year-old Keire as he gets his first job. Their fights grow more bitter; Nina leaves their house, takes Elliot, and moves in with her aunt and uncle. In the latter case, at least, they only have themselves to blame. Keire struggles with the paradox of victims of abuse, of loving someone who has hurt him badly. The award recognized the organization for providing millions in grants and thousands of hours of creative mentorship to over 300 women filmmakers.

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Minding the Gap

minding the gap documentary

Keire says that it would now be called child abuse—he was beaten by his father. It's all honest and true to the experience of being alive—a maddening emotional tangle. But as they hurtle towards adulthood, they question the ways in which race, class, and toxic masculinity have shaped them. In some documentaries, the filmmakers attempt to make themselves invisible. Both Keire and Zack are high-school dropouts; Zack works as a roofer, Keire works as a dishwasher.

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Minding The Gap — Dogwoof

minding the gap documentary

The Ebert Club is our hand-picked selection of content for Ebert fans. As part of his confrontation with his own trauma, Liu interviews his mother, Mengyue, on camera—while having another camera operator film him interviewing her. When she finally decided to divorce him, it was during the filmmaking. That substance—domestic trauma, systemic racism, and economic dislocation—is also the very stuff of society, and the near-at-hand intimacy gives rise to a film of vast scope and political depth. Even when Liu's male subjects seem keenly aware of the damage done to them, and the necessity of overcoming it for the sake of their happiness and that of future generations, they lack meaningful conceptual tools with which to process and analyze what happened, which means they're at risk of repeating the cycle of misery that affected them as children: paying it forward in the worst way. You also talked to your mom about the abuse that you both suffered from your stepfather; was that the first time you discussed it with her? And it forces them to recognize the limitations of gravity-defying tricks and rough thrills.

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Minding the Gap movie review & film summary (2018)

minding the gap documentary

Directors: Chapman Way and Maclain Way. Bing asks Keire about how he was disciplined as a child. He dropped out of school, he drank heavily, and he says that he is now well aware that his current difficulties are a result of his own early decisions. It was made possible because aspiring director was apparently always rolling — literally a camera on wheels — when he and his friends went out skating, amassing untold hours of amateur footage over the span of more than a dozen years. And I remember we would try to talk about it, and it would always get really emotional, really quickly. In Minding the Gap, Liu and his friends find refuge at the skate park from the domestic abuse and trauma in their pasts.

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Minding The Gap — Dogwoof

minding the gap documentary

For your security, we've sent a confirmation email to the address you entered. At the center of this complex sociological quilt, Liu presents the illusion of three friends growing up in Rockford, Ill. When he was 19 he moved to Chicago and began freelancing as a grip while attaining his B. You started making skate videos when you were a teenager. A decade later, he returns to Rockford, visits with them, and films them in their current lives. You like them, you want them to succeed, you understand why they are the way they are, and yet at the same time you're allowed to be frustrated with their inability to see themselves clearly and change their lives.

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Minding The Gap — Dogwoof

minding the gap documentary

So part of why I wanted to make sure that other filmmakers were there was that it was a chance to really capture something that is easier to analyze later. Lurking behind all that fancy maneuvering and adolescent angst is a young man consumed with the subject of domestic violence, a soft-spoken kid who internalized the fact that he was severely beaten by his stepdad, and who came to detect a pattern of dysfunctional father figures among his fellow skaters. Liu captures the visual texture of small, cluttered homes and front yards, the desolate expanse of depopulated downtowns, the bustle of the construction site and fast food restaurant where two of the main characters work, and the noticeable way in which the characters' spirits life when they're on their skateboards tear-assing around town, versus when they're dealing with their often-crushing responsibilities and cultural and historical forces that are bigger than any one person. Producers: Diane Quon, Bing Liu. Instead, Nina stops for a drink with friends on her way home, or, when she gets home, drops her things off and goes out again to socialize. Bing Liu's Academy Award®-nominated documentary Minding The Gap is a coming-of-age saga drawing on over 12 years of footage in his Rust Belt hometown hit hard by decades of recession.

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