When Leo Baker started skateboarding professionally within the early 2000s, skateboarding was primarily a passion for punks. There have been no Olympic trials for nationwide groups, and advertisers had been solely starting to note the income that might come from advertising and marketing sneakers and T-shirts to children doing kick flips.
Leo was a prodigy, however as a youth skateboarder, he wasn’t out as transgender and nonbinary. Erroneously, he was perceived as somebody who might turn into the poster baby for younger girls in skateboarding.
The documentary “Keep on Board: The Leo Baker Story,” directed by Nicola Marsh and Giovanni Reda, makes use of a mix of archival, observational and interview footage to exhibit how Leo navigated a profession as a embellished skilled skateboarder whereas managing the stress of gender dysphoria and public false impression.
When the documentary begins, it’s the yr main as much as the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo. Leo has certified for the USA’ first girls’s group, and he’s conflicted about that call. The general public false impression of his gender causes him nice ache, however he’s afraid that popping out will finish his profession. Supported by household and mates — a lot of whom are additionally queer veterans of the skateboarding scene — Leo in the end chooses to dwell overtly as a transgender particular person and withdraws from the Olympic group.
The administrators have made a compact movie, however their footage packs a punch. Leo is a dynamic and beneficiant topic, and he permits the filmmakers entry by means of an intimate battle, as he’s misgendered publicly and looking for help from family members privately.
It is a candid have a look at one particular person’s expertise with popping out, a humane doc that exhibits the bravery and resilience of queer individuals who search aid from the classes which might be imposed on them.
Keep on Board: The Leo Baker Story
Not rated. Working time: 1 hour 12 minutes. Watch on Netflix.