SKIN (Full length film)
Guy Nativv, USA
Bryon from the get-go has the appearance of a skin-head who has earned the right to be one of the top-dogs in his white supremacy clan. He was hand-picked off the street by this couple who then indoctrinate him to join a group of young misfits. Soon this couple successfully creates a strong pack of racist, neo-Nazi skin-heads who show no fear and look as scary as hell with their multiple tattoos. It doesn’t take long before they are on the FBI most wanted list. By chance, Bryon (Jamie Bell) meets Julie (Danielle Macdonald), a single mother of three kids and his heart softens. He changes so much that he makes the decision to reject his neo-Nazi family. He is now confronted with even a bigger problem. How can he protect his new family from his old family and get help from the FBI who just wants to lock him up? This is based on a true story of Bryon Widner who spends months having his tattoos removed to prove he wants out. Visually this film is skin-grippingly tough but incredibly powerful. Not only did Bell give his all in playing the role of Bryon but Macdonald truly made a convincing mother wanting only the best for her kids.
I was surprised at the Oscar party that the Israeli director Guy Nativv made a short film with the same title and won an Oscar for it. It is completely different to the feature film that just showed at the Berlinale. The theme is the same with some of the same cast but tells quite a different story. The short film included snakes, and parents teaching their children to hate minorities somewhere in the desert. I would not be surprised if this full length film will be nominated for an Oscar this year. It has a similar theme to THE GREEN BOOK but makes a much stronger statement on racism. (SRS)