- Director:Anthony Fabian
- Cast:Sam Neill, Sophie Okonedo
- Release Date:July 22, 2010
- Distributor:AI Entertainment
- Running time:107 minutes
- Film Worth:$12.00
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While conventionally told, this thought-provoking film features deeply moving performances and compels audiences to consider the issues it raises.
If Anthony Fabian's debut feature wasn't based on a true story, it's the kind of narrative that would be pretty tough to endure, let alone believe, because it is so relentlessly cruel. Skin recounts the story of Sandra Laing (Sophie Okonedo from Hotel Rwanda and The Secret Life Of Bees), a South African girl born during Apartheid with black skin to white Afrikaner parents (Sam Neill and Alice Krige).
Sandra spent her youth, and much of her adult life, being shoved around and classified and reclassified as black or white according to the whims of her over-protective but racist father, and the schools and government agencies who have no idea what to do with her. Soon enough, the combination of living in a society dictated by race, and her growing estrangement from her parents, see Sandra flee home to marry a black farmer, Petrus (Tony Kgoroge).
While conventionally told by director Anthony Fabian, this thought-provoking film manages to avoid preaching to its audience and beautifully develops the conflicted emotions of the central characters thanks to the skillfully metered performances of the cast. Sophie Okonedo's deeply moving turn as Sandra is full of bruised grace, shifting between quiet rage and desperate hope. Neill is convincing as Sandra's instinctively protective but culturally blinkered father, who loves his daughter but can barely stand to talk to the black people who work at his general store. Similarly, Krige is impressively affecting as a woman who deeply feels the conflicting pull of her maternal instincts on one hand and her loyalty to her husband and own ingrained racism on the other.
Skin stands as a powerful reminder of the backward mentality that presided over South Africa's decades of Apartheid, but the film also compels audiences to reflect on issues of racism which still linger today.