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Sophie Okonedo, Sam Neill, and Alice Krige do wonderful work in Skin, delivering performances whose strength is underlined by the incredible real-life events upon which the movie is based. Read critic reviews

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Movie Info

Sandra Laing (Sophie Okonedo) is markedly different from her parents. Born in 1950s South Africa during the height of apartheid, Sandra, who looks like a light-skinned black girl, has been confirmed as the biological daughter of her mother (Alice Krige) and father (Sam Neill) -- who are both white. But in her racially divided homeland, where the government does not know how to identify her, she faces racism at school and struggles to be accepted and understood by her own family.

Cast & Crew

Sophie Okonedo
Sandra Laing
Sam Neill
Abraham Laing
Alice Krige
Sannie Laing
Tony Kgoroge
Petrus Zwane
Ella Ramangwane
Young Sandra
Faniswa Yisa
Nora Molefe
Jeremy Crutchley
Hugh Johnston
Jonathan Taylor
TV Sound Recordist
Terri Ann Eckstein
Elsie Laing (aged 19)
Helen Crawley
Screenwriter
Jessie Keyt
Screenwriter
Helena Kriel
Screenwriter
Simon Fawcett
Executive Producer
Hellen Kalenga
Executive Producer
Robbie Little
Executive Producer
Alasdair MacCuish
Executive Producer
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News & Interviews for Skin

Critic Reviews for Skin

All Critics (64) | Top Critics (33) | Fresh (54) | Rotten (10)

Audience Reviews for Skin

  • Jul 24, 2012
    A true story converted to film usually is bastardised in the process, and while that is true here the strength of the story itself, about how we encourage racial distinctions and the price of that decision, carries this film throughout with a sense of childhood betrayed that stays long after the credits roll. The execution is flawed but the punch loses no power.
    Kevin M. W Super Reviewer
  • Mar 11, 2012
    Skin is an amazing, thought provoking, inspirational, eye opening tear jerker in the likes of The Help when it comes to it's subject matter but less known yet beats me why it never made it wide to theaters or gain any nominations, it's a great film that deserves attention. The story is so fascinating and touching that it's quite powerful that it's based on a true story and a punch in the stomach everytime you learn how much so people were prejudice and discriminatory and I will never get their irrational thinking back then, we've came a long way. The performances were great and to me oscar worthy but never gained any notice for some reason and Sophie Okonedo shines as Sandra Laing a black girl born to a white couple in Johannesburg, South Africa and her struggles through life as a confused child to a woman in search of herself. The supporting cast was also great most notably from Sam Neill in one of his best performance and Alice Krige which they both play her parents in a battle of rights and acceptance for their daughter yet are somewhat discrimitory themselves which was sad and frustrating to see as it tares their family apart. As the film came to an end it was bittersweet yet satisfying of a battle won and her rights accepted as freedom rings but the realization of what has come and go of her family is heartbreaking but her new path is now an open canvas of hope that she truly deserved right from the beginning. Overall it's a movie that will educate you and needs to be seen by everyone and it's just a beautiful film bottom line and I highly recommend it to everyone! 8.5 out of 10
    Matt S Super Reviewer
  • Aug 29, 2011
    Based on a true story. This movie really makes one re-think what they "know", and "believe", about race. This lady's story is truly a sad, and unjust one, and prompted me to research apartheid era racial classification tests, and the life of Sandra Laing. This unusual case really highlights the effects of South Africa's racial classification system. Very interesting story with actual footage at the end of her, and her white family.
    Cynthia S Super Reviewer
  • Aug 22, 2011
    I usually approach docu-dramas cautiously - they can certainly be a mixed bag, where the story usually trumps any attempt at creating art; thankfully Skin, due to the very nature of its story, is so compelling that it transcends the genre. Telling the story of a 1960's South African girl, born to white Afrikaner parents, Skin shows us apartheid up close and personal, since Sandra, the young girl in question, appears to be "black". The story shows it all, how the government's rigid yet ridiculous determinations of race affect both sides of the equation, leaving Sandra an outcast in both worlds. The story focuses on Sandra as she grows up - from getting tossed from an all white (segregated due to Apartheid) school due to her appearance, to her late teen years as her white parents try to hook her up with suitable white suitors. Ultimately she falls for a black man who seems the only man who can make her smile. When her father finds out he has his own daughter arrested - since doing the horizontal with someone not of your race is considered a moral crime. What strikes you most, aside from the austere terrain, is how Sandra is a woman with one foot in each world, and yet an outcast in both. By law she cannot marry outside her race, so the children she produces with her black "husband" are considered an affirmation of her lawlessness, and is always aware that the government can step in at any moment and take her children from her. And yet she "looks black" so cannot find a good "white" job, or fit in with white society. The story is heartbreaking showing not only Sandra's strong character, but how a system can destroy - case in point is the destruction of Sandra's black shanty town; not only do the bulldozers level the place (so white folk can develop the area), but they also destroy the dreams and ultimately the soul of Sandra's man - as well as the formerly loving relationship they had together. There was no reason for any of this, and yet bigotry still runs rampant, each generation instilling the same fear and apprehension of things we find different from ourselves. I found the performances profound throughout, especially that of Sophie Okonedo as Sandra and Alice Krieg as her mother, caught in two hells - the one concerning the color of her daughter's skin and a second as a 1960's wife who must meekly obey her husband, though it breaks her heart to do so. A thought provoking film on so many levels - this should be required viewing for all early teens.
    paul s Super Reviewer

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