Wednesday, August 17, 2011
It's an intriguing flick. It's one of the few movies to ever explore race as a social construct (Black Like Me, Watermelon Man, and, ugh, Soul Man) come to mind. You watch a father's desperate struggle to have his daughter officially recognized by the state as being "white" to glean the advantages that that would garner her while society at large views her as "coloured." Since one's race is basically what one is perceived to be, you can only imagine the consequences. And, of course, it ain't pretty.
I am one who believes that race is, indeed, a social construct. Therefore, I found the movie very interesting and enjoyed it (as much as one can "enjoy" an apartheid flick) for exploring that. Also, as an American, I found it interesting because South Africa's construct of race differs a bit from ours. Having been ruled by the One Drop Rule for the lion's share of this country's existence, we have only relatively recently started to recognize that there's such a thing as a "mixed-race" person. Black is black is black is black. Though the character of this film was categorized as coloured it seemed like she was treated more as a black. Skin has piqued my interest in what the societal and legal differences were/are between black and coloured in South Africa.