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A dark-skinned girl born to white South African parents attempts to explore her identity in the era of apartheid as her government, her parents, and society as a whole struggle with what it means to be a black child of Caucasian descent in a nation deeply divided by race. The year is 1955. Sandra Laing (Sophie Okonedo) has just been born to a pair of white Afrikaner parents, her brown skin and curly hair the surprising result of genetic throwback. As the government's rigid apartheid system struggles with whether to classify Sandra as white or black, the young girl and her parents gradually… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 85%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"Laing's life, despite its inherent melodrama, does not automatically lend itself to the screen. And without the aid of a smart script or a prevailing sense of delicacy, a movie about her or apartheid risks being a blunt instrument."
‑ Wesley Morris, Boston Globe
"Every emotion is underscored with sugary music, every narrative plot progression telegraphed with the mechanical structural stiffness of a made-for-TV movie."
‑ Rex Reed, New York Observer
"Intense family drama about race, identity during apartheid."
‑ S. Jhoanna Robledo, Common Sense Media
"Something akin to a Sunday afternoon TV movie of the week."
‑ Andreas Heinemann,
"While conventionally told, this thought-provoking film features deeply moving performances and compels audiences to consider the issues it raises."
‑ Cara Nash, FILMINK (Australia)
‑ Andrea Gronvall, Chicago Reader
"It feels hurried, looks cheap, and works overtime to simplify a complex, flawed character into a noble, tragic heroine. The film speaks fluent cliché."
‑ Colin Covert, Minneapolis Star Tribune
"The most remarkable elements of the true story of Sandra Laing survive intact, despite a rather unremarkable bigscreen retelling of her life."
‑ Simon Foster,
"The storytelling maybe undistinguished but the performances power it."
‑ Julie Rigg, MovieTime, ABC Radio National
"An extraordinary story, one that only real life could invent... You won't forget this film in a hurry"
‑ Andrew L. Urban, Urban Cinefile
"Potent, still relevant and inspiring while maddening, Skin shows some of our best and much of our worst."
‑ Tom Long, Detroit News
"This great film by Anthony Fabian tells this story through the eyes of a happy girl who grows into an outsider."
‑ Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times
"While it's important we never forget the horrendous evils of humanities past, Skin is sadly one social studies class too many."
‑ Giles Hardie,
"Performances are impeccable, and location shooting in South Africa adds to the power of an impressive true story."
‑ David Stratton, At the Movies (Australia)
"A haunting film that tells its unforgettable tale about a coloured girl, born to white parents in South Africa, with simplicity and heartfelt sentiment"
‑ Louise Keller, Urban Cinefile
More reviews for Skin on Rotten Tomatoes