Minding the Gap

Minding the Gap ★★★★

this hit a little too close to home. grew up in a small town very similar to this one (even smaller, actually) with very little money and a single mom; a lot of my friends were in very similar situations to these kids and somewhere in my old hard drives, when i first got into filmmaking, are very dated skateboard montages we made behind the old rec center, complete with horrifying late-2000s filters and scored to A Day To Remember. bing does a magical thing here by starting filming this before he even knew what he was doing, organically capturing them as friends with a shared passion and time to kill, only ever seeing each other in that kind of joy and optimistic glow that kids can. (it also helps that bing really does have an eye for movement and spatial awareness, his skate footage is genuinely thrilling and inviting in a way my 15yo self was definitely not capable of.) that sense of intimacy and sensitivity that bing feels towards these people beautifully carries itself into the present material but is complicated as he starts to uncover, consider and probe the context of their relationships and he starts to see the economic realities and emotional traumas that were lingering just beneath that surface. and to make the discoveries he does here and instead of turning away, leaning the camera towards that pain and regret is so difficult to do and i'm very glad he did because the way this ends up investigating where those realities come from, the open wounds they leave (and how they can be ignored, repressed or cyclically inherited) made this one of the most emotionally rewarding depictions of the intersection of friendship, precarity and abuse i think i've ever seen.

josh liked this review