The “rowdy ass girl crew” known as the SKATE KITCHEN, are here to give people a new perspective on the male dominated community of skateboarding. Following the same title of the movie, The Skate Kitchen is a real group of girls who like to shred and inspire other female skaters in Brooklyn and around the world. The film follows Camille (played by the legendary female skater Rachelle Vinberg) as she escapes the monotony of her life in Long Island to try and meet other female skaters. Camille had always felt a sort of loneliness in her life, and skating was her escape. But it wasn’t until she found other girls who were just as passionate about skating, where she was able to feel like she was a part of something.
Director Crystal Moselle has an absolute pure talent of picking out interesting people to document. In her previous film, the documentary THE WOLFPACK, that shows the lives of six brothers who grew up in a small Manhattan apartment, sheltered from the society, with their only access to the outside world being film. Crystal discovered the eccentric looking brothers as they were running through the streets of New York; so naturally she ran after them, and soon after started documenting their lives. Following a similar talent scouting technique, she was on the subway when she discovered the girls of the SKATE KITCHEN. She saw two of the members sitting with their skateboards on them: Rachelle Vinberg and Nina Moran, and then decided to ask them if she could follow them around while documenting what their lives were like. What may have seemed creepy at first turned into a short film for Mui Mui called WOMEN’S TALES, and then eventually SKATE KITCHEN.
Using mostly first time actors, the film’s scenes have a very pure and honest tone to them. Some of the scenes seem so real that it feels as if the audience is being dropped into the setting and and becoming a part of the movie. SKATE KITCHEN’s usage of modern life scenarios for a youth collective is one of the most on point portrayals that I have ever seen in film. Whether it be a scene where social media is used to humiliate someone, or one where sexuality is used just as a term and not as something that has to define you, the film feels in touch with how it actually is to be young in the modern age. There are so many different versions of youth in America, and this film chronicles only a small part of it. This part of American youth however is important to look at, and it gives hope that the future can hold an equal playing field for all genders.
While the SKATE KITCHEN weren’t the first girls to ever become good at skating, they have come at a time in technological advancements that are able to broadcast their talents and inspire other girls to skate. Through social media they have grown a cult following, and with this film’s release they will only grow to influence more people. Role models can come in all forms, and the power that these girls have to shape and redefine a whole subculture is definitely something to pay attention to.
Rating: ***1/2 out of ****
SKATE KITCHEN is now in limited release in theatres.