Minding the Gap at Real Art Ways

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Minding the Gap

2019 Academy Award Nominee: Best Documentary
100% Fresh on Rotten Tomatoes

Three young men bond together to escape volatile families in their Rust Belt hometown.

Compiling over 12 years of footage shot in his hometown of Rockford, IL, filmmaker Bing Liu searches for correlations between his skateboarder friends’ turbulent upbringings and the complexities of modern-day masculinity.

As the film unfolds, Bing captures 23-year-old Zack’s tumultuous relationship with his girlfriend deteriorating after the birth of their son and 17-year-old Keire struggling with his racial identity as he faces new responsibilities following the death of his father.

While navigating a difficult relationship between his camera, his friends, and his own past, Bing ultimately weaves a story of generational forgiveness while exploring the precarious gap between childhood and adulthood.

"There isn't a word of explicit politics in the film, but Liu's confrontation with abuse and trauma as a way of confronting its unconscious legacy, of changing one's own behavior and improving one's own life and the lives of one's own family and friends, is an essentially and crucially political act."

Richard Brody, The New Yorker

"With infinite sensitivity, Mr. Liu delves into some of the most painful and intimate details of his friends' lives and his own, and then layers his observations into a rich, devastating essay on race, class and manhood in 21st-century America."

A.O. Scott, New York Times

"Extraordinary... Minding the Gap is an essay that never feels like an essay, an intelligent and compassionate grappling with some of the most painful issues presently haunting the body politic: toxic masculinity and domestic violence, economic depression and a deep, existential despair."

Justin Chang, Los Angeles Times