MINDING THE GAP
Directed by Bing Liu
Special Jury Award, US Documentary Competition, 2018 Sundance Film Festival
Growing up in an old Illinois factory town, Bing was always the videographer for his skateboarding friends, a group of misfits who saw in the broken bones and camaraderie a feeling of selfhood and freedom. As the three friends transition into adulthood, Bing’s camera starts to observe new experiences: young fatherhood, a first job. And soon, they brave unexpected emotional ground, including the one that brings all three young men together: the specter of domestic abuse.
That Bing’s camera has always been a fixture in their lives probably makes friends Zack and Keire more open to sharing their misapprehension about growing up and moving past tragedy. Before long, the camera widens to include girlfriends, mothers, and siblings, and a more complex portrait of family emerges. Somewhat reluctantly, Bing enters the frame too and the story takes on a surprising, utterly powerful personal dimension that makes his act of documentary all the more generous and humane.
Shot over several years, the film zips across time and film formats to reflect on lifetimes of renewal and friendship. There’s a lot of hurt in these stories, but as with skateboarding, MINDING THE GAP never lets the pain stop it from exploring the vital emotional energy invested into every moment. –Brian Hu
Co-presented by: The AjA Project
Executive Producer: Gordon Quinn, Steve James, Betsy Steinberg
Producer: Diane Quon, Bing Liu
Featuring: Keire Johnson, Zack Mulligan, Nina Bowgren, Kent Abernathy, Bing Liu