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Skin (2008)

Sophie Okonedo , San Neill , Anthony Fabian  |  PG-13 |  DVD
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (52 customer reviews)

List Price: $24.98
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Product Details

  • Actors: Sophie Okonedo, San Neill, Alice Krige, Tony Kgoroge, Ella Ramangwane
  • Directors: Anthony Fabian
  • Format: AC-3, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: Entertainment One
  • DVD Release Date: February 1, 2011
  • Run Time: 107 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (52 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B004D45NZ6
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #55,287 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

Despite being born to Afrikaner parents, Sandra faces prejudice from her community due to her dark skin and African features. Torn between her family and the man she loves, Sandra must overcome the racial intolerance of her society in this uplifting true story. Starring Sophie Okonedo and Sam Neill. Based on the best-selling book "When She was White" by Judith Stone.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
35 of 36 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Courage Under Pressure February 16, 2011
"Skin" is the story of Sandra Laing (Sophie Okonedo), born black in the 1950's to white Afrikaners unaware of their black ancestry. Her parents, rural shopkeepers Abraham (Sam Neill) and Sannie (Alice Krige) who serve the local black community, lovingly raise her as their "white" little girl. Still, at the age of ten, facing prejudice from her community due to her dark skin and African features, Sandra is driven out of her society. The film follows Sandra's 30-year odyssey from rejection to acceptance, betrayal to reconciliation, as she struggles to define her place in a changing world against countless obstacles.

Ms. Okonedo plays Sandra not as a symbol of black struggle in apartheid-era South Africa but as a determined woman attempting to discover her true self. As a mature woman and mother, her Sandra still looks to heal psychological wounds inflicted on her as a child. South Africa's Population Registration Act of 1950 required people to be identified, defined, classified, and separated by color, but in Sandra's home town, folks were less intolerant.

O'Neill's Abraham is sympathetic as he attempts to have the law changed so Sandra can be classified by heritage rather than appearance, but also reveals himself to have deep-seated racism.

Bonus extras include a behind-the-scenes featurette, deleted scenes, outtakes, and script development workshops.
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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Rewarding viewing August 9, 2010
Drama set mainly during the Apartheid-era in South Africa telling the story of Sandra Laing (played by Sophie Okonedo), a young Afrikanner woman who although having white biological parents by a genetic fluke is born black and the problems that this causes her in the society in which she lives. A stirring performance largely by Sophie Okonedo (who plays Sandra Laing from about the age of 17) as we follow Sandra Laing's life over a period of about 30 years; from when she is about 10 to 12 years old and experiences severe racism from staff and pupils at the boarding school she is attending because she is seen as black (the 10 to 12 year old Laing is played by another actress, not Okonedo); through the landmark court case that her parents fight in which she is officially classed as white; through her disownment at about the age of 17 by her parents when she falls for and elopes with a young black man who works for her father; through her decision to be reclassified as black because she feels rejected by Afrikanner society; through times of severe hardship such as when the Afrikanner establishment bulldozes her home because the government has decreed that the settlement in which she lives is now in a `whites-only' area; through seeing her husband and father of her two children over time become a violent drunk who at least once violently assaults her, leading her to leave him and fend for her two children on her own as a black single mother in apartheid-era south Africa; and finally through the pain that Laing carries over a period of about 20 years because she is estranged from her parents and wishes to be reunited with them again (especially her mother). Read more ›
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What It Means to be Human September 10, 2011
On the recommendation of some Nigerian friends, my wife and I grabbed a copy of "Skin" and sat down for a Saturday evening movie. We expected good things, but we were bowled over by the deep questions and emotion in this film, based upon the true story of Sandra Laing growing up in South Africa during the time of apartheid.

Sandra looks black. Which means she cannot be in a relationship with a white or even shop in the same store as the whites. But here parents are both white, and her mother swears that she has never been unfaithful. As Sandra heads to school, the color of her skin becomes an issue for students and parents, not to mention a heartless school master. Sandra's father vows to fight for her, and indeed the question of Sandra's identity is taken to the supreme court, where they judgment decades ago was based solely on appearance. Sandra is classified "black," but later, when genetics and heritage became the standard, her classification is changed to "white."

The problem is that Sandra now finds herself in love with a black man. Her father is outraged and goes to extremes to stop the relationship. Her mother seems to be on her side, but then turns against her, stuck between an angry, violent husband and their grown daughter. Sandra is forced to make choices, more than once, that deal with heritage, color, identity, and family. Does love cross these lines? Does love erase these lines?

In the end, "Skin" is a powerful movie, told with honesty, grace, hardship, and a cast of fantastic actors. The emotions range from humor to horror to sorrow to muted joy. It is a story that reminds us not only of the injustice of apartheid and racism, but of what it means to be human. I highly recommend it.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent portrayal of Life! June 12, 2011
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I bought this movie for our Friday night family movie night. We could have never expected the impact it would have on us as a family. It is so gripping, on several occasions throughout the movie we had to pause the movie and grasp what was taking place and discuss it. The irony of the film is powerful, in Apartheid South Africa a white family is forced to deal with racism in a way that hits home literally, and up close and personally affects their family. We came away from this movie as a family by praying for Sandra Laing, because at the end the DVD shows you the real life Sandra and where she is today and how she is doing. This is a life-changing must see! Simple Truth Too: Understanding the Bible In Everyday Life Simple Truth Catch A Falling Star
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Very interesting movie
I bought this to watch for a school project, very interesting and greatly told story of a young girls struggle
Published 1 month ago by BlueFoxRun
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful acting; deep and meaningful...!
Heart wrenching but so inspiring...from the depths of despair she rose like a Phoenix out of the ashes into a new life...a life free from abuse.
Published 2 months ago by S. Barcham
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting
Interesting movie. I watched for a homework on racism. It kees you interested. It is not the type of movie i usually interested in, yet I found it interesting and good.
Published 2 months ago by carlos
5.0 out of 5 stars An Amazing Movie!
Wish this had made it on the Big Screen in a Big Way. Loved it, loved it. Definitely bring your Kleenex along. A great story nonetheless! Read more
Published 5 months ago by Freel
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful film
I was captivated by earlier reviews and this did not disappoint! Both the story line and the actors were superb.
Published 6 months ago by Brenda Hans
5.0 out of 5 stars Educational/Social/Culture/Ethnicity Life Lessons
Skin will hopefully change your view of how you see people. This is a true story, many of you may view this film and say out loud how could she, her parents/family and others... Read more
Published 6 months ago by Dr DelaRosa
5.0 out of 5 stars astonishing
This was a very good movie. I recommend it. Sofie is a great actress. It really hits home about racism and how it was a hard struggle for south africans.
Published 8 months ago by Betty Njie
5.0 out of 5 stars Skin review by F. Johnson 5/25/2013
This is a true story of two white people who are the biological child whose appearance is Black. The story took place in South Africa during aparteid. Read more
Published 11 months ago by F. Johnson
5.0 out of 5 stars Incredible story!
This dvd show the life of a young, dark skinned, women with white parents growing up in South Africa. Read more
Published 11 months ago by C. Norris
4.0 out of 5 stars Skin tells a tale of the past that I hope does not occur today.
Well acted and photographed film about a little known subject, apartheid. Love to see films from other countries with something serious to say about multiple subjects of interest... Read more
Published 11 months ago by jean lawton
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