“American Skin“ is a 2019 film written and directed by Nate Parker. It stars Nate Parker, Beau Knapp, Omari Hardwick, Theo Rossi, Shane Paul McGhie, and Milauna Jackson. The film tells the story of a Black teenager shot to death by a white LAPD officer during a traffic stop. In court the officer is dismissed of all charges. This incites protests, riots and violence in the city of LA. The film focuses on how the parents are affected by the outcome of a non guilty verdict, and how this happens over and over in the American legal system. Way too often police are painted as innocent, but use illegal tactics to pull over and interrogate black and brown drivers in search for illegal activity. How can you uphold the law and break it at the same time?
The father of the deceased teenager (Nate parker) is a Marine veteran who works as a school janitor that takes matters into his own hands. This leads to the point of the film, where Linc (Parker) kidnaps the police chief, and holds the entire police precinct hostage. Linc puts the officers responsible for his son’s death on trial, using inmates as the jury. During this time, we get to see the truth about how the officers view Black people, especially those in driving in “white” areas.
“We knew we needed to be a part of it, And it’s so ironic because we did it so long ago.” said Omari Hardwick.
I feel that this film showed many perspectives on how people view police shootings. Some choose the side of the officer first, and never consider the life of the person who was killed. Most times, Black and Brown teenagers are looked at as criminals, scary, adult-like, and not as innocent. It’s insulting to protest people’s pain. Whenever I see a sign that says “Back the Blue”, it confuses me. It’s as if people don’t care. This film is written perfectly, It nails the issue on the head. I have read some bad reviews for this film, and I don’t see how they could hate it. I loved it, I felt it, and I dig how it was filmed. Nate Parker is a filmmaker for the thinking progressive American. As much as Hollywood tried to push him out, WE NEED HIM. He is the match to light up those dark rooms of American guilt that we hide away. Growth comes from challenging old ways of thinking. It’s time y’all.