Skin is a British-South African 2008 biographical film directed by Anthony Fabian, about Sandra Laing, a South African woman born to white parents who was classified as “Coloured” during the apartheid era, due to a genetic case of Atavism.

Skin premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival on 7 September 2008. The film was released to a limited number of US cinemas on 30 October 2009. It started showing in South Africa on 22 January 2010, and in Australia and New Zealand 25 July 2010.

The year is 1965, and 10 year-old Sandra and her parents, Abraham and Sannie, are white Afrikaaners. They are shopkeepers in a remote area of the Eastern Transvaal and, despite Sandra’s mixed-race appearance, have lovingly brought her up as their white little girl.

Sandra is sent to a boarding school in the neighbouring town of Piet Retief, where her (white) brother Leon is also studying, but parents and teachers complain that she does not belong. She is examined by State officials, reclassified as coloured, and expelled from the school.

Sandra’s parents are shocked, but 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.

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