Imagine being born into racism. Born into a society that hates simply based on skin color, religion or ethnic background. Yet, one day you wake up and realize that this is not an existence you want for the rest of your life or your family. This was the reality of Brian ‘Babs’ Widner. Based on Widner true story (which was previously documented in the 2011 MSNBC doc ‘Erasing Hate’), the young Neo-Nazi fell in love and realized his current lifestyle was putting their family in serious danger. Therefore, with assistance of activist Daryle Lamont Jenkins (Luke Cage’s Mike Colter), Brian denounces his former life and has every tattoo inhabiting nearly every patch of skin on his body removed. a process just as painful as the decision to walk away from a way of life he has know for eternity.
Right off the heels of fantabulous reviews as Bernie Taupin in ‘Rocketman’ , Jamie Bell fully inhabits the world of Brian Widner – tattoo and all. The anguish and torture of being indoctrinated into a life of white supremacy then deciding to leave for love and a chance at a new and improved life is nailed with every scene, every word of dialogue and every glance of Jamie Bell. It only gets better when he is joined by his partner in crime Danielle Macdonald.
Like Bell, Macdonald is enjoying a string of successful films like Dumplin’, Patti Cake$ and Lady Bird proving once again that she’s a force to be reckoned with in Hollywood. Their love scenes are some of the most beauritful I have every seen with a zaftig leading lady. Kudos to Director Guy Nattiv for letting them both just be human beings we know and see on a daily basis. Watching Vera Farmiga give me grace, grit and good ol’ white trash creepiness was deliciously delightful. I enjoyed every single, solitary moment.
Skin displays in one fell swoop all the things about racism that make us uncomfortable and angry. It’s a reminder that NO human comes into this earth armed with hatred. Hatred is taught, bred and fostered through the negativity of many entities, including our very own political administration, but Brian Widner proves that at the end of day love always wins.
Produced by A24, Skin hits theatres TODAY!