In Skate Kitchen, a group of young female skaters shreds, slides and rips through the streets of summery New York. Directed by Crystal Moselle (The Wolfpack), the film is a fictitious account of the real-life skating collective it’s named after, with a cast that’s built up almost entirely by members of the real crew. Camille (Rachelle Vinberg) is a lonely skater from Long Island. After a bloody board-involved accident her mother makes her promise to give up skating. In secret, Camille joins an all-female skating crew in the City, the Skate Kitchen, where she finds friendship, like-mindedness and acceptance, and learns that tampons, in fact, won’t necessarily kill you. After a falling out with her mother, she moves in with one of the girls, Janay (Dede Lovelace), and finds a job, but risks losing her newly found home when she pursues a boy from a rival crew (Jaden Smith).
The story itself is not exactly an original one, but that’s not the film’s driving force. Skate Kitchen paints an intimate portrait of female friendship that is both dreamy and authentic. It’s energetic and cool and might make you want to pick up a skateboard and start a collective. Skate Kitchen is an ode to diversity, female empowerment, and, of course, skating. The skaters’ take on New York City is honest and original and involves skateparks, rooftops, and smoke-filled living rooms. The film perfectly captures what it’s like to be young during a summer in the City. It’s not hard to recognise the group’s real-life friendship and shared passion for skating, particularly from the quick and clever dialogue, which runs so naturally it doesn’t seem to be scripted at all.
Image: Promoción de Las Palmas de Gran Canaria via Flickr.