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A dark-skinned girl born to white South African parents attempts to explore her identity in the era of apartheid as her government, her parents, and society as a whole struggle with what it means to be a black child of Caucasian descent in a nation deeply divided by race. The year is 1955. Sandra Laing (Sophie Okonedo) has just been born to a pair of white Afrikaner parents, her brown skin and curly hair the surprising result of genetic throwback. As the government's rigid apartheid system struggles with whether to classify Sandra as white or black, the young girl and her parents gradually realize that the complications they face due to her appearance run deep and wide.
Movie Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes
- Reviews Counted: 62
- Fresh: 53
- Rotten: 9
- Average Rating: 6.8/10
Top Critics' Reviews
Fresh: Director Anthony Fabian lets the story sell itself, and it does so partly on the strength of the lead performance by Sophie Okonedo.
Rotten: Laing's life, despite its inherent melodrama, does not automatically lend itself to the screen. And without the aid of a smart script or a prevailing sense of delicacy, a movie about her or apartheid risks being a blunt instrument.
Fresh: Every emotion is underscored with sugary music, every narrative plot progression telegraphed with the mechanical structural stiffness of a made-for-TV movie.
Fresh: What takes that story of heartbreak and makes it ultimately heartwarming is that Sandra's story, much like the history of apartheid itself, doesn't end there.
best movie out of south africa
This was a fantastic true story about race and discovery that will make you angry at the racial slots of old South Africa . The sadest part of the movie is that while things are left unsaid, you understand why the child is the color that she is and why the mother felt so alone from the husband, as well as how heartbroken he must have felt over the curcumstances of her birth. Even as Heart breaking as this story of external and internal racism is, you get to follow a womans discovery into who she really is. The love that she wanted is found with those who were not her family, A love that would cause her to lose her birth family because she would not deny the obvious. What a joy to watch her learn to feel good in her own skin. Sadly, this was the story of far too many South Africans whose stories will never be told.
If I had one negative thing, is that the movie should have used an South African woman in the lead. The actress is European and Nigerian, but the dynamics of race and interracial issues are not the same in both places.
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This movie kept me watching