I usually try to watch a movie on Sunday. A good sistren of mine has had the most wonderful recommendations of late and, in fact, she gave me a list of great (mainly foreign) films that I will share. But yesterday, I happened to just be browsing through the new Netflix play now offerings and found this movie Skin. My eyes were drawn to it because one of my favorite actresses, Sophie Okonedo, stars in it.
The movie, based on a true story, is quite interesting:
SKIN is one of the most moving stories to emerge from apartheid South Africa: Sandra Laing is a black child born in the 1950s to white Afrikaners, unaware of their black ancestry. Her parents are rural shopkeepers serving the local black community, who lovingly bring her up as their ‘white’ little girl. But at the age of ten, Sandra is driven out of white society. The film follows Sandra’s thirty-year journey from rejection to acceptance, betrayal to reconciliation, as she struggles to define her place in a changing world - and triumphs against all odds.
I found the story to be quite sad. It hurt to watch some parts of it. But I'd recommend it because it's a poignant story that really grapples with the complexities of family, race and identity. And because Sophie is an excellent actress, she draws the viewer in. I couldn't help but place myself in Sophie's shoes. And I am not totally sure that Sandra triumphs at the end.
One thing that really struck me was that at the end of the movie, as with most movies based on a true story, there's an "update" on the characters. Turns out Sophie's brothers, all these years later, do not have contact with her. It made me realize how strong an impact parents have on their children--whether positively or negatively. As Sophie notes to her daughter: You never stop needing your parents.
So here's the list my sistren gave me. I have watched Electric Shadows and boy, did I enjoy that. The storytelling is masterful. So I'm going to work my way through all these movies and hopefully be able to share my thoughts on them.