Review by L.C. Cragg
Based on the Academy Award winning short, of the same name, Writer/Director Guy Nativ delivers a story of struggle and redemption against an unyielding a real threat from the white supremacist nation movement. Based on true events, the film tracks the story of Byron “Babs” Widner’s (Jamie Bell’s) journey. The story follows not only Widner’s difficult decision to escape his adopted family of skin heads and white supremacists and “The Movement”, but also, his physical and also painful decision, to remove all of his facial, and body tattoos.
Windner meets Julie. (Danielle MacDonald) who is single mother looking to raise her three daughters outside the movement. Widner’s attempts to leave with Julie drives the story, through the violent realities of the Vinderland Social Club, as well as a theme of hope with a recognition of a sense of humanity in us all.
With a multi- generational cast, traipsing through much violence, drugs and sexuality, Skin revels the immediate and secondary impacts of such polarizing and extreme hate focused organizations. While parts of the film are extremely violence and disturbing, they are precisely the realities that Nativ set to expose.
The film given the current events of anti- Semitic and racial attacks hits a strong chord with the issues facing the United States and the world. Although the film does deliver one man’s redemption, it begs the question, “How many other white supremist movement “Widners” are looking for a way out?”