I was laying in bed continuing my do absolutely nothing weekend when I got on Netflix and found this film. I watched it and WOW! I was cringing at the raw non-fiction elements just 10 minutes into the film, by 15 minutes I was tearing up and at the end I was...
To not give away too much, the film is about a White South African family who has a child that is biologically theirs but she comes out "Black." I say "Black" because she is biologically "White" but has the complex and "characteristics" of a "Black" girl. The family has to balance the tightrope of race, racism, prejudice, the legal system, the institution of education and be parents all the while trying to not make their daughters appearance a big deal. The father has an especially hard time with EVERYTHING both "good" and "bad" along the way.
There was one scene at which I became particularly emotional on. The young girl, tired of the problems her skin color was causing her and her family, mixed household cleaning products and rubbed them all over her body in a desperate attempt to literally was the black off. The result was her completely covered in burn marks and unable to sleep. The film is a series of racial battles both within the main character and the world around her and how to two coexist or the lack of co-existence plays out.
Often times film about racism are "back in that day" and about the Civil Rights movement and along the same, sorry to sat it, sorry, boring, played out story. In short they lack originality. However Skin is very "up to date", produced in 2008 and because racism was JUST outlawed in South Africa in 1994.
And although it was LEGALLY outlawed the principles and thoughts that racism create in generations of families still remain at large! Black South Africans still live in tin/ wood homes in townships and are treated like second class citizens. With little to no education about many things in life and sadly enough the basic education of sexual health and health it's self.
If you think about how far America has come and how MUCH FARTHER it still has to go imagine what South Africans are experiencing.
Have we as a human race become and allowed ourselves to become so vile despite the historical "lessons" we have and the ability to THINK? Just THINK!
All in all I really and truly enjoyed the film, the thoughts and questions it made me ask myself about myself and the world at large. Watching Skin made my thirst to go to South Africa even stronger!
WATCH THE MOVIE you wont be sorry. I also found out that there are two documentaries about her as well,Sandra Laing: A Spiritual Journey and Skin Deep: The True Story of Sandra Laing.