Premiere of ‘Skin’ in aid of Pacsa

2010-04-19 00:00

THE Pietermaritzburg Agency for Christian Social Awareness (Pacsa) is hosting a screening of the film Skin at CineCentre at the Liberty Midlands Mall on April 22 at 7 pm for 7.30 pm.

Starring Sophie Okonedo, Sam Neill, Alice Krige, Tony Kgoroge and Ella Ramangwane, and directed by Anthony Fabian, the film tells the true story of Sandra Laing, a black child born in the 1950s to white Afrikaner parents.

Things start to go wrong when Sandra is sent to a boarding school in Piet Retief. When parents and teachers complain that she doesn’t belong, she is examined by state officials, reclassified as “coloured”, and expelled from the school. Sandra’s parents are shocked, but her father, Abraham, fights through the courts to have the classification reversed.

The story becomes an international scandal and media pressure forces the law to change, so that Sandra becomes officially white again. By the time she is 17, however, Sandra realises she is never going to be accepted by the white community.

She falls in love with Petrus, the local vegetable seller, and begins an illicit love affair. When Abraham threatens to shoot Petrus and disown Sandra, the lovers elope to Swaziland. After falling pregnant, Sandra is disowned by her family and must now live her life as a black woman in South Africa — with no running water, no sanitation, and little income.

Following her father’s death, Sandra tracks her mother down to a nursing home outside Pretoria, where mother and daughter have a moving reunion, affirming that the bonds of family are stronger than any racial division.

It is the first time that Skin is being screened in Pietermaritzburg and it is well worth seeing. Tickets are R50, which includes cheese and wine. You can buy tickets at the door or through Pacsa at 033 342 0052.

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