Award-winning skateboarding documentary 'Minding the Gap' has the whole world totally stoked out and here’s why!

2019-12-22 06:58
Keire Johnson, Bing Liu and Zack Mulligan star in

Cape Town - He’s worked as a camera assistant for none other than Spike Lee and the Wachowskis, and now 30 year-old first-time filmmaker Bing Liu’s courageous and insightful documentary is setting him up as another director to watch. 

Winner of the U.S. Documentary Special Jury Award for Breakthrough Filmmaking at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival, and nominated for Best Documentary Feature at the 91st Annual Academy Awards, Minding the Gap is the product of an astonishing 12 years’ worth of intimate filming. Sensitive and undeniably raw, the film has touched a nerve in world awakening to the reality of the inevitable vicious cycle of gendered violence, fractured families and racial tensions.  But it’s one thing to admit a problem exists, and quite another entirely to actually fix it. 

Director Bing Liu.

(Director Bing Liu. Photo supplied)

"Minding the Gap isn’t an easy movie to watch, but it’s an important dive into a reality that many young Americans face, with a resolutely subjective viewpoint that lends it credence and heft." –


What initially appears to be three young men’s wistful look back at the rebellion and escape offered in their mutual passion for skateboarding, soon reveals a deeper significance as the three friends must navigate their inevitable transition from teenagers to adults, whilst facing their own troubled past littered with abuse, trauma and toxic masculinity.


Filmmaker Bing Liu admits that initially he set out to document the ways in which he and his disillusioned skateboarding friends, growing up in a typical small US town in the Rust Belt of the Midwest, dealt with their crippling (but not unique) childhood issues. But then a startling revelation sets Liu on a journey of self-discovery as he begins to identify the echoes of their broken upbringing in the heart-breaking choices they make as adults.

"I was forced to become an active participant in the story, eventually interviewing my estranged mother and half-brother about my stepfather and re-visiting old footage to find a way to tell my own story," says Liu. He never intended to be a subject in his own film, but the narrative demanded his participation, and the results are startling, astonishingly honest and devastating. 


Minding the Gap airs Sunday at 21:00 on SundanceTV (DStv 108)

Read more on:    documentary  |  movies

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.