SKATEBOARDING AWAY THE PAIN
THE headlines tell us we have a problem with toxic male culture, but whatever side you stand on that debate, this is absolutely compulsory and complex viewing. It follows skater boys becoming young men in Rockwell, Illinois. Directed by one of the young men, Bing Liu, it won the Special Jury Prize at last year’s Sundance Film Festival and followed that with an Oscar nomination for best documentary feature. If the trajectory of my own thinking during the two-hour screening is any indication, often overlooks their emotional sensitivities. The docu-drama spotlights, in particular, the varied experiences of Keire (pictured, front right) and Zack (out of focus, left). Yes, it looks at familiar themes of racial disadvantage, the impact of poverty on small towns, the importance of education, and how a generation is medicating its emotional damage with drugs and alcohol. Skating brings them a sense of community and cohesion. This doco brought me to tears.