By Valentina Diaz
V. Diaz, a journalist and passionate skateboarder is a full-time writer for SHIT®️ Magazine.
Minding the Gap is a documentary about growing up, friendship, daily issues and using the skateboard as a means of escape. This documentary reflects what skate means in the life of these guys and how much happiness it brings to them even in the worst of times.
Happiness appears when you are confronting a hard moment, maybe that's how we identify our feelings. Skateboarding is constantly thrilling to us with all kinds of emotions, especially with the fact that we are always falling down and standing up over and over again. And once you land your tricks tears can flow of pride.
Teenagers are passing by moments where they are constantly looking for their identity. When they think they have found it, it's unavoidable not to cling to it. But when you find yourself in a sport like skateboarding it's like never growing up and your only adversary is yourself and those around you will feel the same passion for it as you do.
That's the case of these three guys and the stories about their lives. When you spend so much time skating you're going to fortify connections with other people skating too. More than just friends, they will turn out to be your second family.
The documentary also shows the role a man has in society and everything mixes perfectly because if you are a guy you need to fit into that model of what it means to be like that, so they also have to break some stigmas that if you are a skater you will know what those are.
Likewise, these men are constantly feeling pushed by their families to be something they are not. It is very common when you are young to think that you're wrong, but then you start to follow your own feelings and that brings you to the skateboard and it tells you that you're right.
Directed by Bing Liu, this skate documentary captivated the audience and the independent cinema. So much so that it has won more than 65 awards and has traveled all around the world showing what's happening in those skaters’ lives. It's left a deep and important precedent in skateboarding films.
Made with teamwork over 5 years between producers like Diane Quon, Gordon Quinn, Steve James and Betsy Steinberg. There were also some co-producers like KARTEMQUIN FILMS, ITVS, POV and more that helped bring us this extraordinary film.
Showing a common reality in society
The director saw in himself a pretty important story that needed to be told, so he did it and recorded his own and best friend's life. This is the story of three guys, Keire Johnson, Zack Mulligan and Bing Liu who fell in love with skateboarding in the Rust Belt. But life is more than just skating. "They face adult responsibilities, unexpected revelations threaten their decade-long friendship," it says on the documentary's official website.
Everything happened for real and the experiences shown in the film reveal a common reality in children, teens and youth. It's a deconstruction of the family and its parameters established by society that generates a revolution in them that could end with a bad decision or a break between parents and children.
You will enjoy seeing another outlook of skateboarding and those who practice it. The documentary will make you feel a connection to a story that you might have had to go through as well.
Don't miss out on this film that contains five years of content from their real lives. Is skateboarding helping us control our emotions, or is it a door that reveals to us the real side of anger and anxiety that we hide daily?
Read also: 5 Skateboarding Movies You Must See