- "Minding the Gap"
- 「行き止まりの世界に生まれて」（mind は目を向ける）
- Rust Belt
- 衰退した工業地帯（rust はさび）
- hit theaters
- move the needle
- fool around
- shed light on ～
- offer a glimpse into ～
- extreme poverty
- at the hands of one's stepfather
- Democratic Party
- sore spot (of resentment)
"Minding the Gap," a poignant documentary that exposes a side of U.S. society through the lives of young skateboarders living in the Rust Belt of the American Midwest, hit Japanese theaters on Sept. 4. Director Bing Liu, who is also a subject of the documentary, says that through the film, he wants to "move the needle forward" in tackling the cycle of violence that has continued since humanity began.
The film focuses on three skateboarding friends — one Black, one white and one Asian — living in Rockford, Illinois. It spans 12 years, from their teens to their 20s, and mixes skateboarding scenes that Liu captured from a young age with interviews he recorded as an adult for the purpose of making a documentary.
The "gap" in the film's title refers to the disparities and disjunctures between rich and poor, the sexes, generations and races in society. While the documentary captures happy scenes between the three skaters as they fool around, it also sheds light on their troubled pasts and their weaknesses. It offers a glimpse into their standards of living at home while zooming in on their efforts at work. Though the subjects do not face extreme poverty, they are seen as exhausted laborers. Liu appears in the film as the Asian skater Bing, and opens up about the day-to-day violence he suffered at the hands of his stepfather.
In the Rust Belt, discontent has been simmering among members of the working class left behind amid industrial changes and globalization. In the previous U.S. presidential election, members of the working class who had backed the Democratic Party switched their support to Republican President Donald Trump.
Bing believes the political sore spot of resentment goes beyond the Rust Belt's boundaries. "I think really the sore spot is larger, in growing inequality around the country and the world," he said.
He hoped the film would help audiences in Japan "see their own selves and their own lives and their own families."
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