Crystal Moselle had previously made a documentary, The Wolfpack, which I thought was a very inspiring insight into a “closed-off” community. Like other documentary filmmakers, she makes the leap to fiction here, but the film’s no less authentic. That’s because she draws from a real community, the titular Skate Kitchen, who carve their own space in a testosterone-dominated skate community. Rachelle Vinberg plays Camille, a late teenager finding her own feet in part, as a skateboarder. She comes across the group, and very gradually they hit it off.
I love how naturally this all plays out, as everything comes across akin to a “slice of life”. You still get dramatic story bits and all, but it’s to the cast’s (the Skate Kitchen crew essentially play themselves) credit that we more feel like we’re observing them, even during slow-motion.
You may not find this is to your taste, but i’d honestly recommend it. And yes, Will Smith’s son Jaden, pops up, but he fits in pretty seamlessly. I look forward to more from Crystal Moselle.