Skin (2008)

Sophie Okonedo, Sam Neill, Alice Krige, Tony Kgoroge,
Skin is a movie starring Sophie Okonedo, Sam Neill, and Alice Krige. Based on the true story of a black girl who was born to two white Afrikaner parents in South Africa during the apartheid era.
  • 6.9 /10.0 IMDB Rating:
  • DatePublished:
  • 2018-09-07 Added:
  • Helen Crawley, Jessie Keyt, Helena Kriel, Writer:
  • Anthony Fabian, Director:
  • Genevieve Hofmeyr, Margaret Matheson, Producer:

Trailer:

7 / 10

Good film based on a true story

I saw this last month at the 2009 Palm springs International Film Festival. This is based on the true story set in South Africa during the Apartheid system of a Sandra Laing (Sophie Okonedo), who was born of dark skin to two Afrikaaners of white Eropean descent Abraham (Sam Neill) and Sannie (Alice Krige) Laing. Sandra is a genetic throwback because unknown to her parents, and like many Afrikaaners, there was mixed blood in their heritage between the Euopeans who settled in South Africa and the indigenous Africans. The story begins with Sophie getting expelled from an all-white school because of her differences in appearance. She is reclassified as dark. Her father (who is himself a bigot) fights to have her reclassified as white. She eventually is but against her family wishes she causes an unbreakable divide when she decides to marry a black man and have herself reclassified yet again as black. This is the feature film directorial debut of writer/director Anthony Fabian who was also present at my screening for an audience Q&A. The screenplay is from Helen Crawley but there was a book written recently by author Judith Stone called When She Was White that goes more into the complete story of Sophie's life. This film covers Sophie from around age 10 through her first marriage. Both Fabian's film and Stone's book had the cooperation of Sophie herself in their making. An excellent cast with three veterans in the principal roles with Neill, Krige, and the young but very busy Okonedo who was an Oscar nominee for Hotel Rwanda. This is a good film but it plays more like a made for TV movie and HBO, BET, Hallmark, A&E, AMC or Lifetime should all consider showing this. I would give this an 7.5 out of 10 and recommend it.

7 / 10

Back In The Bad Old Days

Anthony Fabian's 'Skin'is a powerful drama of South Africa's shameful history of white colonial Apartheit rule,that was thankfully overthrown. The story starts in 1965 when a young ten year old girl, Sandra has been thrown out of school for being black,despite the fact that she is of white,European parents. Her father,Abraham (played by screen veteran,Sam Neill)fights to get her back in school,by challenging the South African courts to insist that she's white). When he is unsuccessful,the family resigns to the fact that their daughter has to deal with the burden that she will be treated badly,because she is regarded as black. As the years go by,Sandra (now played as an adult by Sophie Okonedo,who absolutely shone in 'Hotel Rwanda')has grown into a beautiful woman,who is desired by one of the black locals, which disturbs Abe much (Abe is as much a vile racist as the rest of the population of the town). The rest of the film spans over a twenty plus year time frame that tells much of South Africa's social history,set against Sandra's tempestuous own personal history. The cast is rounded out by Alice Krige (as Sandra's long suffering mother,Sannie),Tony Kgorogue,as Sandra's lover & father of her children, who turns out to be hot tempered & abusive toward Sandra, as well as a cast of South African actors that turn in shining performances. The screenplay (written by Helen Crawley,Jessie Keyl & Helena Kriel) makes the most out of what was easily a dark period in South Africa's social history (and what some,even to this day,would love nothing better than to do but bring back). Rated PG-13 by the MPAA,this film contains some strong language,brief nudity & sexuality,and some truly disturbing images of racist fueled violence.

7 / 10

Worth watching

This is a great film that is based on the true story of Sandra Liang in South Africa. Sandra, who has dark skin, was born to two white parents in the heat of the apartheid. She struggles to define herself against the classifications of society. Her dad, who is racist, causes strain on her own self discovery, and strains her relationship with her mother as well. The film chronicles her adventures at an all white school, as well as her marriage to a black man, although she is "white". Her journey is intriguing. The film itself makes you question the race-labeling system.

It is a great film that will raise questions and spark intriguing debates on what it means to be black.

10 / 10

This is an excellent film

This is a movie that tugs at your heart strings and brings the ugly truth of prejudice to light. Sandra is a strong women who fights through many battles and achieves more than can be expected. She is courageous despite the many obstacles that lie in her way. We all experience identity struggles as we grow up but Sandra's was above the norm and she faced it head on with dignity.

Prejudice is the focus of the movie and how we as a people allow this to determine how and what we feel about one another. Just as in the movie Roots we see the struggle of the African American people, in the movie skin we are brought in on a more personal level as we see the internal struggle of one girl as she grows into a women looking for acceptance and love. The question is where will she find it.

Sophie Okonedo portrays the character of Sandra with touching and emotional quality. Her facial expressions bring you into her heart without a word being said. The soft lighting and grainy texture of the film bring the conflict and emotion out of the screen and into your living room. This is a must see movie.

7 / 10

Skin Overview

This film follows the tragic story about a girl named Sandra Laing attempting to define who she is as a person during the repressive time of apartheid. Born into a white family, yet having a dark skin tone, commonly referred to scientifically as polygenetic inheritance, Sandra is constantly questioning her sense of identity and belonging amongst people that, supposedly, love her. The film powerfully encapsulates this woman's struggle throughout her arduous life, and as a viewer leaves you inspired by her courage and effort to simply live a happy and liberated life. In essence, it's a tragic yet inspiring story that should be heard and acknowledged by all people.