*What if a victim of police brutality took justice in their own hands? What would that look like, how would people react? Well, the new film, “American Skin,” written, directed by, and starring Nate Parker, gives us a glimpse of the scenario. Parker’s character Lincoln Jefferson is dealing with the loss of his son at the hands of the police.
When the officer is acquitted Jefferson decides to get justice his way. He and his friends take the police station, where the officer worked, hostage. Meanwhile, the Black community is outraged and begins to riot all over the city. Jefferson’s wife, played by Milauna Jackson, is sought after by the sheriff to ask the community to “keep the peace.” It’s a scene we’ve seen before in real life.
We sat down with Milauna Jackson and asked her about what it felt like having to step in the shoes of the many black mothers who have lost their sons to the hands of the police.
“It was challenging in a lot of ways,” says Jackson. She also tells us she met with many notable mothers that have experienced this loss such as Trevor Martin’s mother. “All of these women carry something that the women who have no fan fair, so to speak. There’s no movement behind the loss of her child have which is, nothing will satiate that pain,” Jackson adds.
“American Skin” really digs into the emotions of all parties involved. Raw and honest conversations are had between Jefferson and the officers he’s holding hostage. As much as this film is about the parents and community reacting to their grief, it also gives a balance of what the police officers deal with on a daily basis. These interactions are being recorded by a film student, played by Shane Paul McGhie. McGhie set out to film a documentary about Jefferson’s son but is also taken hostage to film Jefferson as he takes over the police station.
Knowing that this is an emotionally intense film we asked if they had these conversations on set?
“Because we are talking about material that is so unfortunately relevant it’s hard, emotions come up. But I think what’s important is that Nate created an environment where we could have those conversations,” says Mcghie
“American Skin” is a must-see film for everyone. Make sure to check it out in select theaters and all streaming platforms.