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Skin review

Trying to find an identity in Apartheid South Africa...

The idea that a black girl could be raised as white in ’50s South Africa sounds like a pigment of someone’s twisted imagination.

The fact that Skin is based on a true story, then, gives added heft to Anthony Fabian’s moving if sometimes stodgy account of Sandra Laing’s 30-year struggle to be accepted either side of the Apartheid divide.

Torn between her rigid Afrikaner dad (Sam Neill) and her black boyfriend, Sandra (Sophie Okonedo) finds it impossible to locate truth and reconciliation.

Only the conventional storytelling detracts from a film that serves both as poignant family saga and potent allegory.

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Neil Smith

Neil Smith is a freelance film critic who has written for several publications, including Total Film. His bylines can be found at the BBC, Film 4 Independent, Uncut Magazine, SFX Magazine, Heat Magazine, Popcorn, and more.