Minding the Gap (2018) Script

[boy] That's how we do it in the hood.

[boy 2] That is not how we do it in the hood.

[laughs] [boy 1] Now come up here.

Always ignoring the "no trespassing" signs.


What are you talking about? We didn't even see 'em.

[boy 2] Scary, man.

Bing, I think I'm gonna die.

[boy 1] We've got, like, six more. Are you fucking serious?

We have a long way to go. We're not even halfway.

Okay, let's do it. Let's go up. We're already going up. Come on, Kyle.

No, I'm not going up. We're going down. [boy 2] You guys just called me a pussy.

We're going right back down.

Now that I got the - Come on! I just got the courage to do this.

We're going down. It's over. I'm bailing out.

Okay, I am with you. I don't want to die. L wanna go, but it's so scary.

[boy 1] Your whole life, society tells you like, "Oh, be a man!" and "You're strong!"

And "You're tough!" and "Margaritas are gay!"

You know, like - You don't grow up thinking that's the way you are.

When you're a kid, you just do. You just act.

And then somewhere along the line, everyone loses that.


[horn honking]


[lock turns]

I really wanted to clean up before you came over.

I actually spend, like, the majority of my time here alone.

[Bing] Why do you think that is? Let's go downstairs.

It's mainly just because I always felt like I didn't fit in with my family.

It seems like they don't understand why I skateboarded in the first place.


[firecracker pops] [boy] Do not shoot that at my house!

Sorry. I won't.

See, this is why we're not allowed to go anywhere, is this right here.

Oh! Oh! Oh! [dog barking] lf you go behind - lf you go behind a tree, you're okay. You've got cover.

[firecrackers popping] [laughter]

Are you gonna put me smoking weed in the thing?

[Bing] Maybe. I don't think just to do it.

I've given you free range. I mean, I have no stipulations.


I've always needed more out of life, more out of where I was.

You know, my parents ran this very controlling house, and so I ran away a lot.

By, like, 16, I was no longer living with my parents, like at all.

I just wanted to fucking skate.

["Video Life" by Chris Spedding playing]


You ready for some fucking intense action? Take one.


♪ I'm gonna send myself an invitation ♪


♪ Say hello to the video life... ♪ I see that thing in there moving around, Bing.

I know you're playing with my face or something.

Stop filming, or he's going to crash.

♪ Hope I get there right on time ♪

[Bing] Somebody film! Somebody film!

[Zack] Oh, my God.

[boy] Oh, shit! There's the cops.

♪ Video life... ♪ Ah! [girl] No, don't do it hard!

[Bing laughing] Oh, my God! [Zack] Oh, my God! Ow!

♪ Repeat ♪

♪ In remote control ♪

♪ Video life... ♪ Dude, I'm, like, bleeding! It's, like, in it.

[Bing] How long have you known Keire?

[Zack] Man, I wanna say when I met Keire, he was, like, 11.

He'd ride the bus to the park and then he'd pretty much be stuck at the park.

He'd have to ask everyone for money so he could get enough for the bus home.

[Keire] Well, I remember the first time I met him.

I was standing where the bikers transfer, and this dude hit me, like, right in the ribs with his pegs.

And I remember Zack, he just starts screaming at this kid.

"I'm gonna fucking beat your ass!" Like, blah, blah, blah!

So I was like, "I want to be like that guy." [laughs]


♪ For fear of aerial warfare ♪

♪ Right here in your room... ♪

[Bing] What did you think of me when we were growing up and I was filming all of us?

[Keire laughs] I always thought it was cool how you can put all these different moments into one long video and just make it seem like the best time ever.

God, no! You've been filming the whole time?

I thought you were, like, taking a picture.

Ah! [Laughing]

It's just like he touched...

She just drove by and didn't even care!

♪ Baby, baby, I love you so ♪ God! Yes, yes!

[Zack] Fuck, yeah! Whoo!

[Keire] Skateboarding is more of a family than my family.

[Zack] We formed a family together to look out for each other because no one else was looking out for us.

♪ Video life ♪


No, I'm not jumping in.

It could be three feet, I'd just be like, "Oh, shit, I'm drowning!"

[Bing, Keire laughing]

[Zack] No more smoking weed in the house. [Keire] Good.

That's no more smoking cigarettes in the house either.

Which I tried to break myself of a while ago, but there's so much trash on my porch, and I just can't go back out there and smoke.

[laughs] [Keire] I don't know, I guess, like - lt's just a bunch of boxes, from baby stuff. [Zack] lt's boxes. It's baby shit.

Do you know how hard baby shit is to put together?

Do you know how ridiculous this shit is?

They have five different languages on the instructions, but not English.

And I'm like, "Why couldn't I have just bought this?"

I don't understand why I had to buy a box and put it together.

It doesn't make any fucking sense.

I can't believe that she's just gonna have the baby, and then they're just gonna be like, "Okay, here's your baby. Go home."

I feel like somewhere along the line, there should be, like, a class for this or something that I should have taken, that I haven't fucked up.

[Keire] I feel like life might be moving too fast.

We have to fully grow up, and it's gonna fucking suck.

[Keire] How'd you do that? [Kyle shrieking]

My beer! Oh, God! It's all over you. [dog barking]


That is fucking rad.

[Kyle] I love you, Keire.

If somebody poked Keire in the eye, I would freak the fuck out. [Keire] Poked me in the eye?

[Kyle] "Oh, you gonna poke niggas in the eye?"

That guy would be mad at you for saying "nigga"! [Laughs]

Fuck 'em! He poked you in the eye. He had it coming.

[Keire] Yeah, he did have it coming. He poked me in the eye.

Yeah, fuck that guy.

[Keire] Hey, Kyle, so how are you gonna get down off the roof?

[Kyle] Yeah, I'm fine. I'm gonna watch the fucking fireworks.

[Zack] How are we gonna get you down, man?

[Kyle] A ladder.

[Zack] We don't have a ladder, Kyle!

[Kyle] I'm having a good time because I'm up on the top level of my fucking roof.

[Zack] This isn't a joke. You're all fucking wasted, dude!

[Kyle] lt's not a joke.

[Zack] You're all the way on the fucking roof!

But it's America's fucking birthday, dude.

[Keire laughs] [Kyle] ln the land of the fucking free?

[Zack] Dude, I'm telling you. I'm on this son-of-a-bitchin' roof, dude.

Land of the fucking free on this son-of-a-bitchin' roof.

[fireworks bursting] Fucking fireworks, dude! Yes!

[shrieking] [Keire] Oh, my God.

[Kyle] Happy fucking birthday, dude!


Oh, my God, dude!

[Kyle] Fuck yes, America! [fireworks bursting]

[baby crying]


[Nina] I never thought I'd be okay with changing a diaper, but I'm pretty okay with it.

[Zack] We've been tag-teaming it, though, so it's easier.

Yeah, it was so funny because I had Zack give the baby a bottle, and Keire was like, "Oh, my God." They were freaking out.

Yeah, it weirded him out the whole time.

He was like, "I can't believe you're actually a dad."


[Nina] He was thrashing.

[baby fusses] Oh, don't become grumpy.

I would do anything for that kid.

I wanna give him every opportunity I possibly can to help him succeed, help him be happy, to be a good person.

It's interesting how much having a kid will force you to, like, grow up.

I can't get home from work and fucking drink a 12-pack like I normally do, 'cause what if I have to get up and feed the kid?

Or what if something happens and I have to take him to the hospital?

I don't know.

Lately, I've been having a lot of anxiety about not feeling like a grown-up and not feeling like I've done enough things to set my life up properly, and it's time I do something, you know?

So I need you to read over all of these. These are the rules of the testing center.

Okay. No cell phone, no computer.

[woman] Where do you work at? [Zack] Uh, I'm a roofer.

[woman] That's hard work.

It is. That's why I'm taking this.

[both chuckle]

I couldn't understand what they wanted me to do, you know?

Like, by the way it was written, I just...

[sighs] I was having trouble.

I just didn't understand. That was rough.

How are you today? What time is it?



Fuck. [Chuckles]

Oh, man.

I'm at home. Bring me some cigarettes and a beer for me.

I'll pay you when you get here.

Talking about Keire and his skateboarding, y'all.

Y'all know Keire and his skateboarding. Ah. Yeah, he be doing his little thing.

What's good, cousin?

I like talking shit to him, being the little brother being the youngest brother.

You've got to think about it. If he wasn't the youngest, he'd probably been running the streets with us, you know what I'm saying?

All I can say is I'm glad he ain't where I'm at right now.

I've got to go do a few days, you know.

One thing about that, at least I got an out date. Straight up.

All right, bro.

[Keire humming, vocalizing]


[woman] Keire is... quite different from the others.

I think about it a lot.

'Cause I want him to start getting real serious about what he's gonna be doing.

[Keire] I turned 18 in, uh, November.

Ever since then, I just feel like I should get a good job, or get, like, a job, just a job in general.

But I don't know. I'm becoming a man, and I feel like that's something I got fucked over on because, like, my childhood was a really shitty time.

[kids shouting outside]

The fuck is wrong with you? Throwing your fucking board at me?

[Bing] Hey, kid, what happened?

What did he do?

Still wanna fight me now?

[boy] What happened?

You know what? Hey!

Yeah, yeah.

[Roberta] Keire, he held in a lot.

And his dad, you know, he was really kind of strict on him.

You know, his father was - He was a carpenter, and he wanted Keire to do that.

Because he couldn't get the other boys to follow his footsteps.

But Keire didn't like it.

[Keire] Damn it! Come on, hurry!

Yeah! Do it, do it!

[Keire] I don't know. Sometimes I'd know that I'd have to work with him, so I would sneak out my window.

I'd throw my board out first and just climb out.

Then when I got home, I got disciplined.

And I wasn't able to skate for a while.

[Bing] How did you get disciplined?


I mean, well, they call it child abuse now, but it's not really chi - Um...

[breathing heavily]

Bitch! Ah!

That shit makes you angry, like, oh, God lt, like, boils my blood, dude. Like, oh, fuck.



[Bing] How bad did it get? Like, did you ever cry?

Oh, of course. Of course, like...

I mean... [chuckles]

Wouldn't you?

[Bing] I did cry.

I feel like everybody cries.

Is this the board you bought here?

[Bing] Uh... I think you did a while ago.

I remember we had this board in the shop.

I don't buy boards that much anymore, 'cause I don't skate that much anymore.

Dude, tell me about it. I don't skate nearly enough.

I don't really remember when I first met you.

I just - You were just that kid that was always there, you know, like...

You'd come into the skate shop.

I don't know, we'd talk about random stuff.

And that happened with a lot of kids.

And they could come in and be like, "Yeah, dude, my parents suck," or, "This is going on"...

And they'd come in and unload, you know?

But, like, you were introverted, and I didn't know, and I remember distinctly asking you if you were gay.

Do you remember that at all? [Bing] No.

I asked you, like, "Dude, are you gay? Like, what's"...

I knew you had some huge weight on you.

And you were like, "Nah, dude," you know?

But I can't remember when you opened up to me about your mom and stuff, but you never really told me about anything about what was going on with you.

And I guess in retrospect now, when I look at it, I'm like...

I should have totally figured that out.

I could tell with you, from the very beginning, skateboarding meant more to you than just being cool and having friends.

It was your thing to, like, get away.

It was kind of a life-or-death thing.

[Zack] To other people, it's funny. "Ha, ha. Oh, these guys are crazy."

But in reality, I think it's a control thing.

You fucking have to control the most minute, small details to make you feel normal in a world that's not normal.


[Keire] lt would kind of be like a drug, in a way.

Like, I could seriously be on the verge of having a fucking mental breakdown, but as long as I'm able to go skate, then I'm completely fine.



Here goes nothing.

[board snaps]

[Keire] As soon as the effect of the drug wears off, it just comes back to you.

So, what happened? Did we get paid yesterday? Or...

I don't know.

I don't know either. I need my hours, man.

I got kids to feed!

Dude, my boss is seriously such an asshole. Lt is crazy.

Like, fucking - They're understaffed now, and he just told me to clock out.


My budget is already spent out for a week, so I'm a week behind every time.

So now I have to figure out how to come up with three extra hours on a schedule that I'm barely fucking on.

[male newscaster] According to research from the University of Illinois, about 47% of all Rockford workers - 60,000 total earn less than $15 per hour.

[newscaster 2] Rockford has struggled with unemployment for years.

Companies have left. So have the jobs.

[female newscaster] Out of all of Illinois, Rockford has seen the largest number of people move away since 2010.

How many people are gonna be at that table?

Could be anywhere from 12 to 15.


[Zack] Yeah, you took the hardest one. Good job.

[customers laughing] [speakers: Loud rock music]

There you go. There you go. I'll get you all lined up there.

Come on, bud.

I feel weird 'cause like... l don't know, 'cause I like talk to my baby like baby voicing.

I mean, he's a fucking baby. That's how you talk to him. I'm not gonna be like, [deep voice] "All right, Elliot, we're gonna put your clothes on, little buddy!"

Nah, nah lt's, like, she works and I watch him, or I work and she watches him.

I don't know. And other than that, we're both pretty much around.

All right.

Here you go. Is that that action you wanted?

Is that that action you like?

It's a hard-knock life being a baby.

It's gotta be stressful. You've saved a bunch of time by not having to walk and go to the bathroom, but...

And then someone just cleans it for you. Someone feeds you every three hours.

See, I've been off work all week, which normally never happens.

I haven't left this house in five days 'cause I haven't had time to do anything, and I get cooped up super, super easily.

So that, you know, has been driving me nuts.

Is that what you want? You wanna come up here?

[Elliot gurgles]

Hey, Mama's here!

How was work? Eh.

[Zack] How was after-work drinks?


[Zack] Geez, girl, no wonder you're always broke.

Those things are probably, like, $7. They're $4.


Are you gonna feed him?

No, I told you to. I have to, like, get ready and meet Jess.

What? You did not tell me that. Yeah, I did.

You said, "I'm gonna feed him." You can't just feed him - Like, 11 hours?

Now you're going out to the bar? You did that for five months.

You can't feed your fucking kid? You can't do it one day?

You can't feed him? What the fuck? I'll feed him the bottle.

Just feed him the solid food. That's all I want you to do.

His bottle's only three ounces. He'll drink that in five minutes.

Then I've gotta take care of him all fucking night still.

I haven't even gotten my fucking jacket off.

Why can't you just feed him?

I was a stay-at-home mom, and you said, "I work. You take care of Elliot."

And I did. And now I'm working.

Right, and you show up somewhere between 8:00 and 9:00.

Just in time to put him to bed. That's a fucking lie too!

That's a lie too. That happened twice.

Last night was the only night you stayed home all fucking week.

That's a fucking lie, and you know it!

Whatever, you're an idiot. Just go away. No, you're a fucking idiot.


[Zack] I mean, she's, like, going through something now.

She's newly 21 and wants to go out every night.

And I told her, I'm like, "You had a kid. Too late."

[Elliot fusses]

I love that girl. I do want to be with her.

I just want her to chill the fuck out.

And I feel like it's just been me, like a lot, while she gets to go out every night and do whatever the fuck she wants.

Drives me fricking insane.


[Keire] My friend messaged me.

He was like, "Hey, I can get you a job tomorrow if you want it."

And I was like, "Yeah."

But he was like, "But just to warn you, it's really hard work."

I don't like telling people that I'm a dishwasher, but then again, I really don't care, 'cause it's how I make money.


It's, like, definitely my first real job.

But I just don't want to work some job that I hate for the rest of my life.

[sirens wailing]

[electric saw buzzing]

[man] The Main Street Skatepark, aka "the park Zack built."

[Zack] Main Street Skatepark was a skate park I had started with a guy that had run a gym for a long time, and he was looking for an extra source of income during the winter months.

You know, I had told him, "I have all this wood.

We could build a skate park."

I'm calling it the Keire box right now, because it's really weird-shaped and long, crazy...

[laughs] What the fuck?

That's how you are too.

Keire just walks around like...

Just lanky, like your arms are six feet in front of you at all times.

We have two-by-fours.


[drill whirring]

Boom. [laughs]

[Zack] A-one and a-two and a-three...

My father was a carpenter. I learned a lot from him and a lot from my family.

In the '80s, my father started a skate park in my grandmother's roller rink.

And they managed the only indoor skate park in the area for eight years, or something like that.

I was kind of raised to, you know, do what you want to do.

And then somewhere along the line, he just, like, flipped a switch, like, wanted to become like a conservative American.

All of a sudden, there were all these rules and expectations.

They were, like, pushing me into this mold of someone they thought was a good person.

And I'm like, "Fuck that!"

I remember when I was a kid, we fucking sang punk music and fucking smoked joints.

Like, you know, fuck that.

All right, fine, I'll find a babysitter then, and then fuck you.

I guess I'll talk to you later.

First of all, you're supposed to have him until 6:00 p.m. so I get my Saturday dates.

You knew since Monday that I had plans today.

Zack, you shouldn't have fucking made plans for a Saturday.

Because this is supposed to be my day. I never get a day to myself.

You get days off all the time. No, I don't.

[Zack] I only get two days off a week. When do I get a day to myself?

This is supposed to be my day - today. Okay, bye, Nina.

[sighs] Ain't that just the way?

[Bing] Have you and Nina ever, like, just tried talking it out?

Successfully? Nope.

He's just so excited.

I know.

He's had a good day. We're just playing outside and doing fun stuff, huh?

We have a fire going. Oh, yeah, you want to put some boards on it?

Yeah. Okay, I'll hold the baby.

You put some boards on there.

[Nina] Me and Zack just fought a lot, and eventually, I just had to leave him.

[laughs] Like, I can't do this anymore.

Look at Mama.

[Nina] Especially being a mom, you don't want to see your kid in an environment like that.

This should be good, right? [Vickie] Yep.

[Nina] I didn't really have anywhere to go.

And my aunt and uncle, they just wound up being like, "Hey, we wanna help you."

It's down there? Yeah.

[Nina] ln a perfect world, me and Zack would still be together.

But, I don't know, I want it to work out with him.

He just doesn't get it.

[Bing] I feel like a lot of our parents are not together.

Were your parents divorced?


[Roberta] Well, he stayed with his dad because he told me he could raise him better, because he could teach him things that I couldn't.


[Keire] I really hope that I don't get back in there and there'll be the same amount of boxes.


You know, like, I lived with my dad, but he kept trying to make me work, like, every single weekend.

And I was like, "Come on. I've got to skate. I've got to skate."


Then we got in, like, a fight.

He was like, "I'm your dad. You're going to work."

And I was just like, "No."

Then I tried to punch him.

And then I moved out, like, the next day.

Yeah, actually, one of the last things I said to my dad was, "I hate you."

I was just so fucking angry 'cause he just kicked my ass.

[Bing] Did you see any violence in your household when you were growing up?

I don't know, man. That's - That's a tough question.

It's hard - lt depends on what you determine is violent.

When I was a kid, if I was fucking up...

I got my ass whupped. I feel, like, everyone does.

I mean

some people got it worse than other people.


[exhales sharply]



This was my dad's closet, specifically, and he'd hide everything right here, like my PlayStation controllers, entire computers, toys.

And then his vintage porn was, like, in the corner right there in a stack

along with, like, several firearms that were on the floor.

I used to judge my relationship with my father based on a day-to-day basis on how many things I've done to piss him off in that given day.

And this day, that I was here playing on the computer, felt like a good day, that I hadn't done anything wrong.

It all went without a hitch. We hadn't talked very much.

There wasn't much opportunity for me to do anything bad.

But then he just comes in, looks at me.

I turn up and look at him, and he just says that I look fucking stupid.

And he walks out, and I thought that was the end of it.

I was like, "Oh, well, okay. That's not too bad."

But then he comes back in with a pair of, like, meat scissors and he just starts...

He just, like, grabs my head and starts hacking my hair off.

I always shut the doors because, you know, it keeps the [clears throat] lt keeps the heat in.

That was another thing worth punishing.

[Bing] Where was your room?

Oh, my room, that's right. This used to be my brother's room.


Eh, that's true. Um, yeah.


I remember hearing beating and screaming coming from your room, and it was like

unnerving screams of anguish, almost, and it was, like

really, really unnerving.

It was almost scarring.



Yeah, I have to wash my clothes and my blankets.


And my - my blankets. I just need two.



Thank you. [man] She said put one in each wash.

[Keire] Okay. Thank you. [man] All right.

My mom has this new boyfriend, and I don't really like him.

[Bing] So do you have a new, uh, man in your life?

A new man in my life?

[Bing] Yeah. [laughs]

Hey, ain't that sort of personal there?

[Roberta's boyfriend]


[Roberta's boyfriend]


I'll be back in a minute.

[party guests] ♪ Happy birthday, dear Elliot ♪

♪ Happy birthday to you ♪

[all cheering]

He said, "What the hey?" [laughs]

Zack, look up.

[all chattering]

Aw, Elliot, it's all up in your neck.

[Nina] My family, when I grew up, we were all very distant.

It was very chaotic and I'd just stay in my room the whole time.

I think 'cause of the way that I grew up, I really desperately craved love.

[both laughing]


[Zack] I think my dad had me when he was 21?

And my mom left when I was two or something.

And so I think I was always looking for something from my dad that I didn't get.

Like, maybe something that I was supposed to get from my mom.

Oh, no, it's okay, it's okay. Elliot, rip that off.

[woman] Oh, all right! [guests cheering]

[Zack] Bye, baby. [kissing]

I loves you. Give me a hug. [Nina] I love you.

Love you, Nina.

I was telling Bing about how you went on a date with Katie and I almost killed her.

Yeah. Lt was bad.

No, like, I usually don't get like that, but.

She showed up at 11:00 at night with this other girl ready to fight.

See this? You see what I'm dealing with all the time? This little bitch.

Oh! Oh, yeah, real slick there.


[friends cheer]

You got this.

All right, man. Here it is.

[Zack] Yeah! [Kyle] Fuck, yeah!

That trick made me want to touch my body, Keire. I'm not gonna lie.

[Keire] I mean, if you want to take a shower... [laughs]

Oh, my God. Fuck, dude.

That looks fucked up.

[Kyle] That was crazy.

[Keire] This is the result of all those times I ran away from home to the skate park.

I would love for my dad to see how much progress I've made since I was a little shithead trying to skateboard.

Like, it would bother me.

Maybe he'd just be like, "Ah, damn, you weren't just wasting your life."


[Zack] I know their relationship was definitely strained.

And I don't think Keire really realized how much his dad meant to him until his dad actually did pass away.

[Keire] The day that my dad died, I had just got out of school.

It was, like, a Friday, and, uh, I'd just got off the bus.

My mom was just, like, freaking out.

As soon as I got home, she was freaking out.

And she was like, "He's gone, he's gone!" And I didn't wanna believe it.

So I was all mad at her for saying that.

I was like, "Dad's strong. He's not dead. Whatever."

And they brought him out on the stretcher, and I was just like, "Holy fuck."

Like, he actually looks kind of dead right there, and I was just like, "Fuck."

And I don't know, it's just...


I don't know, uh

[sniffles] lt's weird. It's just lt's just really difficult for me to explain right now.

Hey! [Kyle] Well, hey there, bud.


I love you.

Ready? Come play with Daddy.

[plays notes]

Buddy, like this. Just one finger, just one.




Hold him like this just real fast.

All right, I'll hold him for a second. Yeah, come here, bud.

[Zack] Yeah!

We're gonna make it through the poles? We're gonna make it? Whoa!

[siren wailing]

[Bing] So what, uh...

What have you guys been up to?

[Zack] Uh, lately, we've been adjusting to...

I don't know. I asked if I could see my son every day, and I only get to see him, like, three times a week.

It's really been bumming me out. And she's been, like.

She's talking a bunch of shit, you know, calling me a piece of shit and all this stuff and lt got out of control, man. I don't know. All right, so this is the video.

[Nina onvideo] Get off of me! I hate you!

[Zack on video] I don't trust you!

[Nina] 'Cause I hate you and I will fucking stab you.

I will fucking stab you in the fucking neck, Zack!

Fucking die, die, die! [Zack] Knock it off!

So fucking bugged, dude.

[Nina] Get off me!

[Zack] Then stop it! [Nina] Die!

[Zack] Are you going to stop? [Nina] Die!

You're doing this, I'm already - It's like you want me to fucking kill you.

You're asking for it!

[Bing] Kyle showed me some recordings of you and Zack fighting.

I bet he did. [Bing chuckles]

What - What were those fights about?

What were they like? Why did they...

Well, if he showed you the one where I'm like, "Zack, I'm gonna fucking kill you right now," he beat my ass ten minutes before Kyle took that video.

And he didn't decide to record that part.

You know I've got a scar going down my eyebrow.

I've got - He broke his coffee tables with my body.

[laughs] Like...

Obviously, I'm not in the state of mind - I'm not - I'm going crazy at this point.

Because I'm a little girl. You know what I mean?

And you have wasted Zack doing all that, and then it's like, yeah, I'm gonna.

Yeah, of course I'm gonna tell you I'm gonna fucking kill you if you do.

You know? I don't know.

[Bing] I didn't know that. Why was he hitting you?

Um, he gets wasted.

He, you know - We'll start fighting and then he'll take it completely out of control and...

But, I mean, that's not the first time it's happened either, that recording.

And I mean, I've been pretty bruised up.

I'd have, like... From him hitting me, I'd have, like, a huge bruise just all over.

And then, you know, he'd see them the next day and he wouldn't even say anything, not even a sorry or anything like that.

We'd just kind of ignore it like it didn't happen.


[Bing] ln a way, your footage will offset with my footage because this is the only time that I haven't shot in the movie.

So it's like it - You know...

So, like, even when during the interview, when you shoot me and getting my reaction shots, it'll like... l don't know.

We moved to Rockford when I was eight or nine, and my mom met my stepfather.

One day when she was working at the pizza restaurant, this man came in.

He had been a regular. He'd seen her before.

Um, and he started getting to know her.

And then one day, he followed her home, found out where we lived, and

then he became my stepdad.


But, um, you know, I think that I was blaming her for sort of abandoning me when I was a kid.


Mom, can you clap your hands just in front of your face?


[chuckles] What's that for?

[Bing] lt's for a sound thing for later. Can you see my face okay?

No, not - Now is okay. [Bing] Now? Okay.

So I'll just try to hold it here for now.

[Mengyue] Now that - Right, I can see your eyes. You're a little...

I know it's hard with all the lights. I'm sorry.

Um, so I'm curious. Uh...

Who's Dennis? [man] Hold on one sec.

Oh. [man] Sorry.

Okay. Sorry, Bing.

Who is Dennis? Why did you ask that?

[Bing] Um, because...

[Mengyue] You know who he is.

Well, I don't feel like I know who he is.

Did you know that, um the first time I was ever alone with him, that's when he grabbed me?

He did - He what?

The first time I was ever alone with him was the first time.

[Mengyue] He beat you? He grabbed me and beat me, yeah.

I mean, how much did you know about what was happening?

Because you were always gone working. [Mengyue] Right.

Because he had retired pretty soon after you and him married.

[Mengyue] Right.

And so you weren't home that much. I was just with him.

I think, uh...


I don't - I don't know what to say now.

I wish I can go over it and do again, do differently, but I really don't know what to say now.

It's all past. l...


I did not know it was that bad.

I did not know he was that bad, especially behind me.

I was... [sighs]

I wish I was stronger than - I wasn't.

I don't know. l...

I don't know what to say.


I mean, but didn't he...

When was the first time that he hurt you?

I don't know what happened. He come to choke me.

Yeah, he have a few times...


But the thing is, as I tell you with him...

[female newscaster] The city of Rockford is ranked as the number two most dangerous city with a population under 200,000 people.

[newscaster 2] Last year, the Department of Justice created a 63-page report just for Rockford to help it with its violent crime problem.

[newscaster 3] The Rockford police department presenting final crime statistics for 2015.

About a fourth of that violent crime can be attributed to domestic violence incidents.



[boy] You know what I found out today?

Skateboarding taught me how to be passionate. That's where it all started.

[Zack] That's where it all started? Yeah.

[boy 2 laughs] I'm telling you.

I didn't mean to laugh at you. [boy 1] lt's all right.

I knew you were probably just kidding. L don't like emotions.

That's why - I mean, I'm like my dad.

"There's no such thing as emotion, only work and getting back to it."

[chuckles] "lf you work hard enough, all your problems will go away."

[cell phone ringing]


All right, I'll be down in, like, five minutes. Hold on.

[boy 2] Zack. [Zack] Hmm?

[boy 2] I thought you weren't with Nina anymore.

Um, I'm not really. We're, like, talking now.

[stereo: Rock music] How was work?

[Nina] Eh lt was okay. L like your hair. It's all swirly.


I'm sorry. I won't be nice to you next time. I'll not say anything.

No, your hair looks like shit, Nina.

You're welcome. I'm not used to you being nice to me.

Nah, nah, nah, nah.

Stop, Zack! I'm driving! [laughing]

Trying to be a real badass, huh? I'm driving.

[both laughing]

[Elliot crying] [Nina] You're freaking Elliot out.

[Zack] Elliot's not freaked out.

Maybe he's a little freaked out. Nah!

[Nina] Stop!

[Zack] All right, I'll be back. Veggie burrito, potatoes, horchata.

[Bing] So you guys are looking better than ever? Like, what's.

[Nina] I'm gonna take it day by day, because I feel like he's just gonna let me down again.

So, if I don't take him seriously, I'm not gonna be let down.

So I'm just going with it, I guess.


To him? [Bing] Yeah.

Don't. That's a bad - That is... No.

I just think it's so prevalent, the, like, violence towards women and I saw it towards my mother, and I just think it's...

Right. I don't think they.

She had the same idea. She was like, "I don't want to speak out," you know?

Right, I mean...

I don't know, especially with me and him kind of being okay right now and like hanging out, all that would go down the drain.

[Bing] Okay.

[sighs] But, yeah. [door opens]

That took a long time.

[Zack] Fifty bucks.

[Nina] That's 50? Yeah.


I'm fucking beat, dude.

[laughing] Like, I don't know what else to say. I'm beat.

Wait a second.

Dude, what's today?


[scoffs] I thought it was fucking Friday!

I don't have to go back to work.


Yes! Oh, my God! Yes. Oh, my God.



I got my car probably a month or two ago.

How many people do you know have a portable ledge on the back?

I quit. [Laughs]

I feel, like, if I stay here, I'm just gonna get stuck here.

[siren wailing]

But moving out has always been scary.

I don't wanna just move out and by the time rent comes around, I don't have the money, because then I look stupid and irresponsible.

What's good, Marlon?


Yo, we're filming that rap video. We're filming a rap video.

We just don't have the guns. ♪ Driving that '99 Mercury Sable ♪

[man] Ain't got women either. Where's the women?

[laughs] No, we're not guilty.

[man] I believe that. [Marlon] We didn't do it!

[Keire] He's like, "That's what they all say."

[both laugh]

You see that shit right there, like, right above the speedometer.

I have my registration and my insurance and my license.

So you don't have to reach for anything in your pockets.

Dude, the cop was like, "License and registration."

And I was like "Sure." And I reached over there to the fucking glove box, and the cop over there was like...

I was just like, "Oh, whoa! Don't fucking shoot me."

They're like, "Calm down!" I was like, "What do you mean calm down?"

You guys fucking calm down. You fucking pulled your gun on me for obeying what you said. [Laughs]

[Marlon] lt's just a bunch of shit, you know.

[Zack] Did you see that one? At, like, the gas station? Yeah.

He's like, "Give me your driver's license."

That fucking terrifies me.

So the guy goes in his car to get his driver's license and the cop just shoots him, like, four times.

I could die really easily here.

Dude, no, this is the funniest video ever. I have to show you guys.

[man onvideo] Buff niggas, dark niggas.


Asian niggas, white niggas

[man2] Suck my dick, bitch!

[man 1] Hundreds of niggas is waiting for your motherfucking call.

They all talking shit about you.


Call these motherfuckers ASAP.

[harmonica playing]

[Keire] Growing up, my dad would always tell me, "Keire, you have a lot of white friends, but don't forget that you're Black."

[Nina] Are you gonna take a nap, buddy?

Look who's home! Hi!

I'm going to try to lay him down for a nap.

Let me have a kiss first!

I get him first! [Kissing]

We didn't, like, hug or anything in my family.

So when I first moved out from me and Zack's apartment, my aunt would give me a hug every night before I went to bed.

And it was so weird to me at first.

I'd be like, "Oh, you're touching me.

Don't, please!"

And after a while it was like, "Okay, I'm going to bed. Where's my hug?"

It's nap time, baby.

I never really knew what a family was.

[laughs] Are you okay?

My aunt and uncle showed me that.

They pretty much adopted me at the age of 21.

That stuff scares me. When he gets on a skateboard, I'm just like...

[Vickie] Mm-hmm. You need to find him a little helmet.


Come on, bubba.

Now I know what I want my family to be like someday.

[Bing] How have, uh, you and Zack been?

Um, same as always. He's just doing his own thing. And...

[man on TV] This looks like a job for Superman.

[Bing] ls it hard for you to move on from him?

I mean, I don't go one day without thinking about him, or worrying about him or, like, wishing he'd call.

And, you know, not even just for me, but for Elliot too.

I don't know.

[Bing] Why do you put up with that though?

I mean, even though I've seen the worst of him, you know, I know that there's a lot of good things about him too.

I need a fries, please, for this steak sandwich.

Here you are, sir. All right, I'll go grab you a menu.

Seriously, man.


This is so much better than being back there and having to do all of that.


Right now, I don't have to ask my mom for money. I can give her money.

Our water was gonna get cut off, and I helped pay the bill.

I felt really good about that.

With Zack, we have drifted apart a little bit just 'cause I'm not over there, like, every day.


I started hanging out with my younger skate friends again.

I noticed that they were on a better path.

[boy] What classes are you taking?

Graphic arts technology, graphic design. So, gen ed of liberal arts.

I'm just gonna try to get something general at first and see what kind ofjobs I can get. [Keire laughs]

[Bing] So you guys are getting your GEDs?

Um, I am. Evan has his. He graduated.

And like - I don't know. It's just, I could prove people wrong.

Oh, yeah, dude!

I remembered something that my dad told me about being Black.

He said, "Being Black is cool because you get to prove people wrong every day."

[Marlon] Yeah.

Like, you sound the way that you sound, so you don't.

You know, it's like you just prove them wrong, and they probably feel a little shitty for profiling you. [Laughs]

I can't even imagine feeling like that.

I was only - the only white kid for, like, four years at Ellis in my class, so I had to learn real quick that like, "Oh, shit, I'm in trouble."

Like, right away, people were mad at me for being white after our first history class.

In reality, you don't have as much say, 'cause you are white.

But you just get - But I'm educated though.

You're educated 'cause you went through just as much high school as him?

'Cause I fucking read and shit. So you know more than him?

Even though your race didn't go through the same things as his did?

Because my race went through it doesn't mean I went through it.

Like, he doesn't have the same disadvantages every day you don't have?

There's a certain class of white that's easy to be white in America.

But then if you're, like, trailer trash white and shit, then it's not easy to live in America.

I feel like it is easy though. [Marlon] Yeah.

You could just cut your hair and go and get a fucking job

'cause they're not going to look at you like...

[boy] But when you're fucking stupid, you can't do that.

If you're stupid, you can't do that.

[Keire] When I was younger, I didn't really understand why my dad would talk about being Black so much.

But I remember, he was like, "lf you could choose again, choose to be Black."

And at first, I didn't get it. I was like, "Why would you want to be Black when all this shit's happening to us?"

But he explained it as, like, because we have to deal with these issues, it just makes other things that my white friends would complain about not even be a problem to me.

[Zack] My father's skate park went under because of a downfall in skateboarding.

Mine didn't succeed because I got hooked up with a bad partner.

One day, he calls me and he's like, "Hey, I'm gonna go on a vacation."

And I fucking never heard from the dude again. Never.

Come to find out the guy had never paid any of our bills.

All the money we were making, everything, he just was keeping it.

That fucked me over. I mean, I've never I don't feel like I've done anything I've ever wanted to do with my life.

[boy] There it is. That's a five-day notice.

I try not to come over here, just like Zack and Kyle don't. Clearly.

I mean, do you even want to be here? No. [Bing] Why is all that shit broken?

What? [Bing] The ground.

The ground? [Bing] Yeah, what is all this?

[boy] Poop. This is all poop, dude.

All right, let's get out of this fucking place.

I feel like I never see Zack.

I remember when I used to skip school, and I was just like, "Oh, he didn't finish school.

He's doing fine. I'll be fine."

Yeah, but I see them now, I'm like, "Fuck."

I don't know. I don't think they have electricity right now.

That's kinda... [Evan] Yeah, that's what I heard.

That's fucked up.

[Keire] When I was younger, everyone just seemed like they had it all figured out.

[laughs] Which was the dumbest thing that I could have ever told myself.

No one knows what the fuck they're doing.

What kind of filming are we doing, the kind where I pretend you're not there or the other kind?


Where we talk the whole time.

[both laugh]




All right, think I got it?


I didn't plan on moving out here at all.

This broad that lives out here hit me up. She bought me a plane ticket, got me like a $180 Uber to the fucking Milwaukee airport.

Came out here.

I was originally gonna be out here for two weeks.

And she's like, "No, you're just going to live with me now."

You know?

I'm not picky. I was like, "All right." [laughs]

I don't know. I'm doing pretty good out here though. I'm working.

I've been drinking a lot less and I'm definitely not fucking off as much.

What's this one? Oh, fucking roast beef.

Can you hear me in your headphones right now?

[Bing] Yeah.

There's liquor in this cup.

[Nina] All right, so West State Street...

There's Walnut, so I need to be going that way.

[Elliot] ...take a ride?


Mama. [Nina] Baby.

Take a ride.


Take a ride.

Zack told me that he was going to Colorado, but he said that he was only going for a couple of days.

And then he wound up calling me while he was there, like, "Oh, I'm gonna stay here."


[Nina] When he does get stable, he's gonna want to be with Elliot again, and he's gonna want to be a family, 'cause that's what he tells me.

But then again, all I really have is his word, which I don't even know if that's true, because there are so many lies.

You know what I mean?

Oh, I'm drunk as fuck. This is a perfect night.

[Keire] lt's hard to get who Zack actually is, because there's so many versions of him that he'll tell you about.

It's frustrating, 'cause you're supposed to be my homey, but I feel like I don't know the real you.

[Nina gasps] You spilled juice all over your pants. It's okay.

[woman] Oh, hi, Elliot. Hey, Nina.

[Nina] Hi. [woman] You look cute.

[Nina] Yeah, I figure if I'm gonna go do this at the courthouse, I need to look presentable.

He needs to know that there's consequences.

Like, you can't just have a child and abandon them.

Life doesn't work like that, and he needs a reality check.

And I feel like, you know, this is a good way to do that.

I'm here to try and start the process of child support.

[woman] You said child support?

[Nina] Maybe that will also encourage him to want to come around more.

It's, like, maybe if he's paying for him, he'll want to see him, you know?

I don't know.

I'm just trying to do what I can, I guess.

I'm just playing. Don't start crying. Look how much fun jumping is though when you don't have to cry.

Mom. Mom, she's making noises.

Come on, come on...

See, everyone loves Grandma. No one likes their uncle.


[Bing] Are you still with - Are you still with your boyfriend?

What boyfriend?

[Bing] I thought you had a boyfriend for a while.

No, he wasn't a boyfriend. He was a stupid friend.

No. He's not around anymore, thank goodness.

Gonna throw you off!

[Keire] The older I get, the more I think about it, and I feel like there's a part of me that really loves my family.

All right, all right, calm down. Ah!


[Keire] I guess because family will always be there, but friends, kind of, can come and go.

Stop it! [Keire] God.

What's up, fool? How you doing? [Bing] What's up, guy?

How's it going? Good.


I know. Happy to be home, I'll tell you what.

Let's do this. God, Zack.

[grunts] [girl] Zack!

[Zack] Denver wasn't really my style.

I felt like a lot of the people that were down there, a lot of them were privileged.

And so Sam, my current girlfriend, flew me back out to Rockford.

I have Sam's name tattooed on my wrist now.

[Bing] When did you get Sam's name tattooed on your wrist?

[Sam] When or why? Uh, Saturday?

I don't know. [Laughs]

[Zack] She paid for it. L paid for it.

Do you feel concerned that Elliot's gonna grow up, like, messed up?

I'm 50-50 about it.

Lately, I have been concerned over my influence on him.

And as he gets older how he's gonna look at the difference between the way his family lives and the way I live.

And a lot of people grow up and they're all, "Oh, yeah, I'm fucking gonna play football and I'm gonna go to college and I'm gonna get this nice office job and start a family and have 2.5 kids and a car and a garage.

And everything's just gonna be nice, and I'll buy a boat and a snowmobile"...

Like, fuck you, you piece of shit!

Just 'cause you're too fucking weak to make your own decisions and decide what you want to do with your own life doesn't mean everyone else has gotta be like you.

[laughs] I don't know. Fuck.

I don't - Ask me another question.

[Bing laughs] I guess my thing was like, you know, I grew up without knowing my dad.

I saw him three times since I was five, and my stepdad used to beat the shit out of me and my mom.


[Bing] And so I don't know how I - Why did I choose this life?

Not that I'm, like, gonna get married and buy a house, but I don't know.

You want me to comment on your direction?

[Bing] Yeah.

That's the difference. Like, you.

Some people do take their negative experiences and turn them into powerful, positive things.

I just don't think I'm that type of person.

I think...

I found myself in a position where I was so depressed that I just - I wanted it to just get as bad as it could, just as bad as it could until I died.

[Sam] ♪ Married to the money I ain't never letting go ♪

♪ Baby, it's you... ♪ Quit being a wuss. [Sam] Wanna play with my knife?

Do you wanna play with my knife? Take it off. Quit being a pussy.

♪ I want you to be mine again, Ashley ♪

♪ I know my lifestyle ls driving you crazy ♪ Do it! Saw my fucking head off. Don't be a pussy.

No! Ah, you're such a wuss.

[Keire] This place just, like, eats away at you.

I don't know, I just don't want to get trapped here in Rockford like a lot of people have.

[rap music playing on stereo]

I tried stashing away my money, and then my fucking brother broke into my room and stole it.

If I would've told my dad what my brother did to me, my dad would be on his ass right now. Like, he'd be - Oh, my God.

I remember this one time...

I don't know, I think I stole something or something. I was little.

I was, like, 12 maybe, and I stole something.

That was the worst ass-whupping I have ever gotten, but it definitely made me never steal.

[laughs] I was like, "Yeah, stealing sucks

'cause you get your ass beat and you burn bridges.

And burning bridges isn't cool."

I don't know.

Afterwards, after my ass stopped stinging, he apologized for beating me and then he totally just explained to me that it was just how he was raised.

I know that he loved me. That's why he was so hard on me.

[Bing] So what do you think you've gotten out of this documentary?


It's almost like fucking free therapy.


Yeah. I'm making this film because I was physically disciplined by my stepfather, and it didn't make sense to me.

And I saw myself in your own story.



[sniffles] That's...

Wow, Bing. I had no idea, dude.

No, that's really cool though.


[Bing] So this might be a weird question, but you spent a lot of time in Zack's house growing up.

Do you think Zack is capable of hitting a woman?

[Keire] Hmm...

Maybe if he's drunk enough and she's hitting him, like fucking beating the shit out of him or something, maybe.

But I don't think Zack would ever just like, just fucking strike a woman.

I don't think he would ever do that.


My stepmom and my dad?


Yeah. I mean all the time.

They fucking - Most of the time, they argued about me.

[laughs] Uh...

Like once or twice, the cops came to my house, but that was when I was young-young, maybe like 10 or 12, you know what I mean?

Not as a teenager. Lt never got.

I don't think it ever got real physical.

I think just the fight got real gnarly.

I mean, shit, I've called the cops on fucking Nina, my baby mama, before.

Sometimes you just need the fight to stop.



I don't know if you filmed the recording.

That was a pretty, like, every-other-day occurrence.

She just fucking loses her damn shit and she won't shut the fuck up.

And it just keeps escalating and escalating and escalating.


You know, my deal with women, kind of the way I've dealt with it is, they get all fucking heated and mad about shit or they're complaining about this, and I'm like, "All right, I'm leaving. Bye."

But if a fucking woman is acting a fucking fool, they've been acting a fool, you've asked them to stop, you've tried to get away from the situation, you have done everything that you can do to avoid the situation peacefully and she's coming at you wanting to argue and fight like she's a fucking man, like she's ready to hurt you, that.

You can't beat up women.

But some bitches need to get slapped sometimes. Does that make sense?

[Bing] You stayed with him because at times he was sweet?

So what gave you the strength to finally leave him?


It was 17 years.

I don't like that. Even now, I don't know what to do.


[Nina] Zack and I went to court for child support.

And, you know, it was like one of those moments where I was just like, "Wow, what am I doing with my life?"

Oh, you're so cool!

[Zack] You know, on one hand of my brain, I'm like, "You shouldn't be around your kid ever. You fucking suck."

And then on the other hand, I'm like, "No, that's my child!"

"Happy Father's Day. I hope you all get to spend some time with your fathers.

The last time I talked to my dad, I argued and fought with him.

I moved out the next day."

The last time I came here, it was his funeral.

You don't want to think about it.

Not necessarily.

I feel like shaky and anxious, and I don't really think about him that much.

[Zack] I've never been able to deal with myself because I'm so busy I'm not even convincing other people, I'm convincing myself that I'm a good person.

I feel like a clown, almost, you know?

You paint up your face and you put on your act for everybody,

and you let that act become you.

[Nina] I've always been something to someone.

You know, I was someone's daughter, someone's sister, someone's significant other and then someone's mom.

So it's like I never got that chance to just figure myself out.

I really wish I fucking just could remember where it is.

It would make this day a lot better for me if I could just fucking find it.

[Zack] I don't want my son...

I just don't want him to grow up fucked up like me, you know?

[coughing, spitting]

[engine starts]

I can't let myself think that the reason I have to struggle so hard is 'cause I fucking suck.

I can't - You know, that's what the drinking is about.

That's what it's all about.

I just want to hide. I just want to run away.

[Zack] lt's such a crushing, hopeless feeling.

It just sucks knowing that you're your own enemy, that every decision you ever made has culminated in how shitty your life is now.


And there's no escaping it.

I don't know if - I try to help you.

Well, the reason why I wanted to make this film was - Maybe you're right.

Maybe I need to just move on and not dwell on the past.

I cut.

[Keire] Oh, my God.

Fucking yes.

I finally fucking found it.


I'm so fucking happy.



Let's - Let's go.

I get mad at skateboarding, like, a lot, but at the end of the day, I love it so much that I can't stay mad at it. [Laughs]


Yeah, so did my dad.

But I love him to death.

[no audible dialogue]



[Keire] I'm about to do this shit. Oh, my God, dude, I'm gonna fucking do it.


I'm moving to Denver. [Chuckles]

[children's show playing on TV]

Can't you wait another month?

[Keire laughs] No.

Till it get warm? [laughs] No, Mom.

See you later, baby.

["This Year" by The Mountain Goats playing]

♪ I broke free on a Saturday morning ♪

♪ I put the pedal to the floor ♪

♪ Headed north on Mills Avenue ♪

♪ And listened to the engine roar ♪ I made this for you. Thanks.

♪ My broken house behind me And good things ahead ♪

♪ A girl named Cathy Wants a little of my time ♪

♪ Six cylinders underneath the hood Crashing and kicking, aha! ♪

♪ Listen to the engine whine ♪

♪ I am gonna make it through this year If it kills me ♪

♪ I drove home in the California dusk ♪

♪ I could feel the alcohol Inside of me hum ♪

♪ Pictured the look On my stepfather's face ♪

♪ Ready for the bad things to come ♪

♪ I downshifted As I pulled into the driveway ♪

♪ The motor screaming out Stuck in second gear ♪

♪ The scene ends badly As you might imagine ♪

♪ In a cavalcade of anger and fear ♪

♪ There will be feasting and dancing ♪

♪ ln Jerusalem next year ♪

♪ I am gonna make it through this year If it kills me ♪

♪ I am gonna make it Through this year... ♪ Stop!

[woman] Cheese! Cheese!