Minding the Gap

Best Doc Oscar Nominee!

Bing Liu
Not Rated
Run Time: 
93 mins
Kiere Johnson, Bing Liu, Zack Mulligan

Some films evoke so much, getting so close to the core of the human condition, that they defy description. Minding the Gap, which won a Breakthrough Filmmaking Award at Sundance, is just such a film. In Rockford, Illinois—a Rust Belt town that may feel hauntingly familiar to some Michiganders—three friends grow up bonded by their mutual love of skateboarding, each of them using it as a much-needed escape from their poor and troubled home lives. But circumstances eventually separate Zack, Keire, and Bing. Following his graduation from film school, Bing Liu (the film’s director) began working in cinematography, and soon decided to set his camera on the enduring friendship of the three young men, taking an honest, unvarnished look at how they’ve given each other invaluable help in getting through the seemingly mundane, dead-end existences the world set up for them. It's a film you won't want to let go.

"'Minding the Gap' is an exceptionally reflective examination of the 29-year-old filmmaker’s life, and surroundings, and it works because the movie concerns so much more." - Chicago Tribune

"'Minding the Gap' is a personal documentary of the highest sort, in which the film’s necessity to the filmmaker—and its obstacles, its resistances, its emotional and moral demands on him—are part of its very existence." - The New Yorker

"Liu’s intimacy with his subjects becomes contagious, to the point where their small victories are thrilling and their failures feel devastating." - Atlantic 

"While this is an autobiographical story about a young aspiring filmmaker and his skateboarding crew, it also speaks volumes about contemporary rust-belt USA, masculinity and abuse, weaving its themes and characters around scenes of the boys sailing through the near-empty streets." - Original Cin