Set against the backdrop of the blue collar town of Rockford, Illinois, this seemingly innocuous skateboarding documentary turns into so much more as we delve deep into the lives of these young men. Director Bing Liu began filming his friends just for fun when they were teenagers, following their every twist and turn on their boards and asking them questions about their lives while they sat around bantering back and forth, as teenagers will do. However, through this true first-person footage, the film veers into unexpected territory and begins to explore the gap between fathers and sons, between discipline and domestic abuse, and ultimately the chasm between childhood and becoming an adult.
As difficult realities about his friends begin to surface, Liu never stops capturing it all, even if that means a confrontation. His filmmaking begins to force them, and himself for that matter, to probe more fully into their own lives and how their pasts are influencing their futures. And, in doing so, Liu has created an audacious first feature that takes audiences deep into the psychology of modern masculinity.