Coming to theatres today, Friday, November 30:
Dyana Winkler and Tina Brown
New Orleans, Hot Docs, AFI Docs, London, Denver, Vancouver, Urbanworld, New Zealand, Melbourne, Los Angeles, Sidewalk
An exploration of skating rink culture within African American communities.
Around the country, rollerskating rinks are quickly vanishing, victims of dwindling audiences and real estate development. While many viewers may hold fond memories of childhood birthday parties held in these spaces, for many African American communities, rinks have been a social gathering site long into adulthood, with different cities developing their own style and swagger. Winkler and Brown conduct a survey of several of these communities, uncovering a vibrant subculture that has been threatened by both racist policies and harsh economic reality. While they take on far too much, sacrificing focus and a deeper appreciation of historical context to instead profile a couple of locations too many, resulting in an uneven film with multiple endings, the filmmakers do demonstrate the importance of the skating rink as a locus of celebration and self-expression, and the impact its closure has had on communities of color.