Minding the Gap ★★★★

Minding the Gap (2018) is an undoubtedly important documentary, fact. It’s also something of a narrative based film in the sense that it has a three act structure unlike most other documentaries making it more reminiscent to that of a feature film. Containing footage shot over a twelve year period and with an unrestricted insistence to tell the distressing story of three abused kids, Director Bing Liu uses the pastime of skateboarding as a backdrop for what is essentially a dramatic saga that reflects the trials and tribulations of race, class and manhood.

Liu, one of the three kids, uses old camera footage to show their early years as the friends bond over skateboarding whilst, subconsciously or not, forming a family of their own choosing to help mask the reality of their home lives. Liu then edits this medium of escapism into his documentary to help tell the full story of how they suffered at the hands of domestic violence. Hearing Liu and his friends, Keire and Zack, talk about their lives as youngsters is harrowing, but to see them trying to adapt to society as young men with the curveballs that throws up is also incredibly eye opening. Liu’s desire to confront both his and his friends pasts head-on is commendable and shows that he clearly has a gift for documentary filmmaking. I hope to see more of his work in the future.

Format: Satellite TV