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. 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. As the story unfolds, Bing is thrust into the middle of Zack's tumultuous relationship with his girlfriend and Keire's inner struggles with racial identity and his deceased father. As we watch the boys grow up before our eyes, we experience the joy, sacrifice, and hope in the gap between childhood and adulthood.
One of the best documentaries I've ever seen!
- Minding the Gap review by RP
I knew from Mark Kermode's review that this film wasn't about skateboarders. It's a film about capturing the transition from adolescence to being an adult. And, how childhood experiences can influence one's course in life and potentially repeat with the new generation. The thing that got me the most about the documentary was how open everyone was when interviewed; whether it be an arranged interviews or questions raised as the subjects lived their day. I kept expecting to see some of the subjects to walk out of the interviews, but... well I won't spoil anything. Not that the questions were too invasive , just that some of the subjects have to face their past.
What helps the documentary in a big way is that Bing Liu is friends with or related to many of the subjects. That said, Bing Liu in my view is up there with Asif Kapadia in terms of capturing information and presenting the information in a exceptional structured way. I hope he goes on to make more documentaries. Plus, I wish well the subjects in this film who shared their lives with us.