SXSW Movie Review: Skate Dreams: Sweet and Badass Documentary Redefines “Skate Like a Girl” – Screens

A sweet and badass documentary redefines “skate like a girl”

skate dreams

The phrase “skate like a girl” was something we used growing up in the 90s as a slur, a joke to put friends down while skating, doing kickflips in the corners of their block.

The sport of skateboarding has changed drastically now. As seen in the opening of skate dreams, a Seattle chapter picked up the term, titled their organization and competition “Skate Like a Girl”. It is here that Cambodian skater “Tin” Kouv Chansangva wins the top prize, a pioneer in her country, where she is recognized as the first female skater.

Jessica Edwards’ documentary on the rise of today’s female skate stars is vibrant, a bold tapestry of hard-working athletes whose success has encouraged inclusion in the sport. There is a common thread in sports documentaries directed by women who try too hard to encourage what is described as the impossible, but skate dreams keeps a level head that feels like a weight lifted. It manages to be both inspiring and approachable, a documentary that celebrates the growth of women who have picked up a skateboard despite the deterrents.

Nicole Hause’s journey through the documentary is particularly poignant – from competing to qualify for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games to her accident and recontextualizing what matters most to her career. Hause and his roommate Nora Vasconcellos have a candid conversation at a picnic table in their backyard, about strange social media DMs and their future with sports. Unlike Rachelle Vinberg’s journey with sponsoring a skate-focused TV show Betty, Hause finds bliss and a new wave of innovation with his Nike sponsorship, a positive take on brand collaborations that a decade ago would have been lambasted. These are moments that are often watched with defeat – who wouldn’t be gutted losing a chance to compete in the Olympics? However, Edwards’ vision doesn’t overlook the beauty of self-discovery and pivotal goals, which is why these women are so praised by their fans.

skate dreams is a brilliant, sweet and badass film – a kaleidoscope image of amazing and talented skateboarders who devote themselves to their totally wicked passion. The documentary ends with Chansangva training young girls not to give up, young skaters in the making. Someone better tell the boys that the future of skateboarding is female.


skate dreams

Documentary Spotlight, World Premiere

March 14, 2:45 p.m., Rollins Theater

March 16, 5:30 p.m., Alamo South Lamar

Broadcast from March 12 to 14

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