*If you thought Nate Parker was down and out after his last film, “Birth of a Nation” tanked at the box office, he’s back with “American Skin.”
Parker’s new project has in fact been added to the Venice Film Festival. “American Skin,” which he wrote, directed and stars in, tells the tale of a black Iraq War veteran who seeks justice for his son killed in a shooting.
The film also addresses timely subjects like police violence and enduring racism in American society. Omari Hardwick (“Power”), Theo Rossi (“Sons of Anarchy)” and Beau Knapp (“Southpaw”) also co-star.
In the film, Parker is a former U.S. Marine named Lincoln Jefferson who is working as a janitor at a prestigious junior high school in California and trying to mend his relationship with his son after his divorce.
However, his son is killed during a routine police check and predictably, the officer who shot him is declared innocent without having to face trial. This is where things go left, so to speak, because after being denied due process, the Lincoln Jefferson character takes the entire police station hostage and stages his own trial in which the members of the jury are the inmates and common people.
As we noted up top, this is Parker’s first film since “The Birth of a Nation” which won the Audience Award and the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance. The film’s release that fall was muted, for lack of a better way of putting it, after rape accusations dating from Parker’s college days resurfaced; Parker had been acquitted of criminal charges in 1999.
By the way, Spike Lee – who will also attend the Venice festival – is really impressed with what Parker has come up with and is enthusiastically endorsing it:
“My brother, Nate Parker, has concocted a BRAVE TOUR DE FORCE. I haven’t been affected by a film like this on so many levels in a long, long time,” he said in a statement. “It is my hope and prayer that the movie audience will understand this battle between LOVE and HATE, which has divided our world. Bravo Nate, Bravo.”
The Venice Film Festival runs from Aug. 28 to Sept. 7.
We’re with Spike. Even though we haven’t seen it, the subject sounds intriguing, plus it deals with a subject a lot of people of color can relate to. On the other hand, there’s been a sickening negative reaction to it on social media from a racialized point of view:Another Police are bad, Racism is prevalent movie that white liberal critics will fawn over.”