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The movie Skin which will be released this week is really powerful – painful to watch in many ways, especially knowing that it reflected real experiences, and because it really does try not to hold anything back in exposing viewers to the seediest aspects of this racist subculture. I was very happy to have the chance to view the movie in advance of its upcoming theatrical release, and then to talk to director Guy Nattiv about it.
The movie is about a skinhead who decides to leave that movement, and the challenges he faces both getting to that point and also afterwards. It illustrates redemption, but not in a religious sense, and that’s definitely worth reflecting on, since there may be elements to the real life people’s motivations that intersect with religion but simply aren’t highlighted in the film, or this may illustrate that, while Christians and other religious people talk about redemption, actually accomplishing it is a messy and dangerous process that few religious people actually embark on.
Director - Guy - Nattiv - Things - Israeli
I thus asked director Guy Nattiv about some of these things, being particularly interested in what led him as an Israeli to focus in on this subject and this specific story that unfolded here in my own current context of Indiana. Nattiv told me about how it intersects with his own experience and that of his family. His grandfather was a Holocaust survivor, a rabbi, who lost his faith as a result of his experiences, and who moved to Israel. He told Guy that he believes in forgiveness, but it’s a secular version: it is crucially important to talk to one’s enemies, to engage in dialogue across whatever divides us. Nattiv pointed to the example of Israel making peace with Egypt. In that context, Shimon Perez said you have to make peace with...
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