How do you define race? Is it by the colour of your skin, lineage or choice? Is it the shape of your nose or the colour of your gums? or is it by whether if stuck in your hair, and you shake your head, a pencil drops? Or if your backside potrudes a certain way? The answers to some of these were the deciding factors for whether, distinctively darker skinned Sandie Laing (played by Sophie Okonedo) would be classified the same as her white parents in heavily segregated Southern Africa of the fifties and sixties in the currently playing select theatre release SKIN
The stellar cast including Sam Neil, Alice Krige, Tony Kgoroge and the young Ella Ramangwane help present a true story that is both heartbreaking and enlightening. The movie presents a simple story of the complexities of human identities and how much discrimination and labelling damages souls.
In one painful scene, little Sandie in an attempt to be more white and thus, solve the racial problems reaping her family apart, applies undiluted industrial bleach to her skin. My heart broke in so many ways and it was like my own skin was on fire.
Go see it. It will afford you if anything, a chance to discuss identities. The issue the movie presents can be translated into every culture, for there is nowhere where the issue of skin colour, ethnicity/tribalism does not occur. The wars being fought now have this as their basis.
Go see it and come tell me, what is the colour of your skin? and what does that make you?