SKATE­BOARD­ING AWAY THE PAIN

The Sunday Telegraph (Sydney) - TV Guide - - Front Page -

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.

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