Skin Has 'Poignant Power'

Tale of black girl born to white parents taps apartheid's madness
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 30, 2009 9:59 AM CDT

(Newser) – A true-life tale of the struggles of a dark-skinned girl born to white Afrikaners in '50s South Africa, Skin scored with critics, though some found it a bit too black-and-white.

  • Skin "serves as a stirring allegory for birthright and the assertion of one's identity in the face of oppression," writes Michael Rechtshaffen at the Hollywood Reporter. "But the fact that it's actually based on a true story adds an extra layer of poignancy."

  • Director Anthony Fabian refuses "to succumb to the usual manipulative cliches such as the stirring soundtrack or the big emotional speech," Matthew Turner writes at View London. "As a result the film feels more naturalistic and the various scenes of family conflict are all the more devastating."
  • Skin's story carries "poignant power" in an age "when it's difficult to say something new about the racial divide," writes Betsy Sharkey at the Los Angeles Times, but "too many of the characters are either good or bad, and that nuance is missed."