Skin

 (149)6.91 h 46 min2009X-RayPG-13
Based on a true story, SKIN follows Sandra Laing, a distinctly mixed-race South African woman born to white parents during the apartheid era.
Directors
Anthony Fabian
Starring
Sophie OkonedoSam NeillAlice Krige
Genres
Drama
Subtitles
English [CC]
Audio languages
English
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Supporting actors
Tony KgorogeElla Ramangwane
Producers
Anthony FabianGenevieve HofmeyrMargaret Matheson
Studio
MPI Media Group
Rating
PG-13 (Parents Strongly Cautioned)
Content advisory
Violencesexual contentdrug usefoul language
Purchase rights
Stream instantly Details
Format
Prime Video (streaming online video)
Devices
Available to watch on supported devices

Other formats

Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars

149 global ratings

  1. 81% of reviews have 5 stars
  2. 8% of reviews have 4 stars
  3. 5% of reviews have 3 stars
  4. 1% of reviews have 2 stars
  5. 5% of reviews have 1 stars

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Top reviews from the United States

joel wingReviewed in the United States on August 8, 2020
5.0 out of 5 starsAbsurdity of South Africa's apartheid and questioning of race
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Skin is based upon the true story of Sandra Laing. She was born in South Africa to white parents but looked black. Under the racist Apartheid system she was considered African and discriminated against. The theme is about the absurdity of Apartheid that ruled South Africa for decades.

The conflict is apparent from the start. She’s sent to school, discriminated against and eventually kicked out by the administration. Then she gets classified as colored by the government. There’s even an insane set of tests they do to prove their point. For instance, they put a pencil in her hair and tell her to shake her head to see if it falls out. In such a racist country like South Africa there was no way that Sandra was ever going to be treated equally.

You also see the psychological toll this takes on Sandra. In one instance she’s so ashamed of her looks that she mixes a bunch of cleaning supplies and applies it to her skin to try to lighten it so she can pass for white. As in every racist system it not only separates people but causes self-hate as well.

This obviously causes conflict with the parents. There’s the added twist that the father Abraham (Sam Neill) is racist against blacks as well such as when customers come to his shop he won’t allow them to put money in his hand because he doesn’t want to touch them and instead demands that they drop the money on the counter.

In court it’s brought up that most white Afrikaaners had black relatives sometime in the past. That accounted for Sandra. The African genes in the family came out after years. More importantly it questioned Apartheid that was based upon whiteness. What did it mean to have such a drastic racist system if most whites were actually mixed? That was the point of the movie to question not only Apartheid but race as well.
C
25 people found this helpful
LivinginBeautyReviewed in the United States on March 7, 2021
4.0 out of 5 starsHad to STOP Watching ...
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Too intense.
Just 2 days ago, one of my best friends reprimanded me for referring to her grandchildren as "black".
She continuously reminded me, the correct term is "bi-racial". She insisted I NOT refer to them as "black".
So, when I started watching this movie, the race question was still fresh on my conscience.
This girl's parents were in major denial.
Two WHITE parents cannot have kids who look "black" ... unless somewhere along the line, there's a black in their gene pool.
Not sure I'll go back and finish the movie. It's just too painful watching this kind of suffering.
EDIT:
The next day, this news is online:
"Markle told Oprah that during her pregnancy, some members of the royal family had expressed concerns about "how dark" her son's skin would be when he was born.

SMH ... Just when you thought this type of thing had stopped -- it hasn't.
10 people found this helpful
Diane DoughertyReviewed in the United States on January 19, 2020
5.0 out of 5 starsSuch a witness to men's hatred for humanity and how it spreads
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So shocking to witness the human devastation of apartheid. This movie is so well done on so many levels...
Striking how the oppressor is loved in spite of grave wrongdoing....
How women in conflict choose comfort over what is just
How boys are unduly influenced by the culture of color
13 people found this helpful
Rocko3Reviewed in the United States on September 5, 2020
5.0 out of 5 stars....this is such a beautiful and cruel movie!!!!
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Although they kept the cruelty hidden pretty well, if you look between the lines you can still see it. I am glad I watched this. Being a Boomer... I heard and read about apartheid throughout my youth. Such a cruel, cruel world we live in. Everyone should use this story as a reality check to make this world a better place. Remember, we are all teachers when it comes to loving our brothers and sisters!!!! Kindness... it's a beautiful thing.
9 people found this helpful
bronnieReviewed in the United States on January 12, 2020
5.0 out of 5 starshuman spirit that trumps over hate is inspirational!...
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overt racism can destroy families & relationships, however, it is very hard to dampen the human spirit! a wonderful story about how apartheid was devastating to this south african family in too many ways, but it also challenged the strength & resilience in sandra. it's shameful & painful to be reminded of how cruel & unjust we can treat fellow human beings...
10 people found this helpful
Christine LehmannReviewed in the United States on February 9, 2020
5.0 out of 5 starsVery poignant beautifully executed story about Sandra Laing's life
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I thought the acting was exquisite and Sandra's character played in a very sensitive nuanced manner. I felt very sorry for her being torn between 2 worlds and being accepted and rejected by people in both of them. A very cruel situation for a child who looked different than her parents to have to endure in racist segregated apartheid in South Africa. Makes me feel sad for the human race.
9 people found this helpful
Chef EdReviewed in the United States on February 11, 2020
5.0 out of 5 starsExcellent
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This movie has all 5 star ratings. The three and four star ratings are for another movie called skin...
Very well done, shows complexities of race relations within a family and family relations. Very well done! If you feel in any way different from your family (in your beliefs or values) and felt you did not fit in well in school or your surroundings growing up, this movie will also relate. It goes well beyond race relations.
6 people found this helpful
L.BenzReviewed in the United States on May 2, 2021
5.0 out of 5 starsSaying nothing is giving consent
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‘There are none so blind as those who will not see. The most deluded people are those who choose to ignore what they already know’. This proverb has been traced back to 1546 (John Heywood). Words that speak volumes when speaking about Afrikaners during Apartheid.

There is no less racism here in the US. Just ask the police who are so frightened of blacks they kill them for no reason. WE ARE ALL COMPLICIT.
If we say nothing it is giving consent.

Standing on the neck of George Floyd, or Fatal Shooting of Daunte Wright in Minneapolis, or Ed Truitt with raised hands and began filming when confronted buy an Arkansas police officer repeatedly giving Ed Truitt a simple command: “shut your car off.”..

"The state of Florida is investigating a police shooting in North Miami. An officer shot and wounded an unarmed black man who was lying on his back with his hands in the air. The victim was a mental health worker trying to return an autistic patient to a group home. Jericka Duncan reports."

"A still frame taken from Officer Eric Stillman's jumpy nighttime body camera footage shows that Adam Toledo wasn't holding anything and had his hands up when Stillman shot him once in the chest."

Police violence is a leading cause of death for young men in the United States. Over the life course, about 1 in every 1,000 black men can expect to be killed by police.
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