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Movie Review | SKIN [2008]

SKIN is a complex biographical drama which is hard-hitting and disturbing. There is not much relief from the harsh reality of Apartheid's impact on one family - especially on their daughter, Sandra, who becomes not only an outsider in her community because of her skin colour, but ultimately in her family.

Born into a South African white family in 1955, Sandra looks coloured and at the age of 10 is legally classified as 'coloured.' Her father fights the system to have her reclassified as 'white.' After falling pregnant at the age of 16 by her black boyfriend, Petrus, and being jailed for 3 months due to the illegal nature of their relationship, she is rejected by her father and begins a life with Petrus and his family. She has two children with Petrus, all the while longing for reconciliation with her family. In order to keep her children, she legally becomes reclassified as 'coloured,' but increasingly finds herself an outsider. Ironically, it is the words of her father to her as young child, 'Never give up,' which keep her persevering.

The film follows Sandra’s thirty-year journey from rejection to acceptance, betrayal to reconciliation, as she struggles to define her place in a changing world.

The movie portrays the emotional ramifications of the Apartheid ideology which literally tore a family apart, on so many levels, even to today.

In 1994 when Sandra was interviewed by the press, she said, 'Today is a happy day for South Africa, but it is too late for me.'



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