American Skin is a 2019 Drama film directed by Nate Parker. It’s a movie about a war veteran named Lincoln Jefferson who seeks justice for his son, Kajani Jefferson after he was fatally shot by a police officer because he wouldn’t put his phone away like the police officer repeatedly ordered him to.
The movie goes over what happens after officer Reyes, the man who killed Kajani, faced no repercussions for his actions. Lincoln gets upset by this and tries to take matters into his own hands to get some sort of justice for his son. This is seen in the form of a documentary throughout the whole movie. During the movie we get to see everyone tell their side of what happened while learning the daily struggles each type of person goes through, allowing the audience to better understand these struggles and apply them to real-life situations.
In the end, everyone is finally able to come to a common ground and realize their wrong-doings in a very surprising way. Although no justice was served in the form of jail time or death, Lincoln and officer Reyes are able to understand each other in a way they didn’t before. I won’t spoil what happens at the very end but just know it is very unexpected and heartbreaking.
Going into this movie I had no idea what to expect since I never heard of it before and was recommended by a friend to watch it. When I first started watching the movie and realized what happened, I instantly thought this was another case of racial injustice that cost a child his life. I immediately wanted officer Reyes to face heavy precautions and didn’t care if he was going to be able to live or die for what he did. But, as I watched the movie and heard the different sides of the story and what officers face in their day to day lives I started to feel for officer Reyes. I did think what he did was wrong and he was guilty but I didn’t think he deserved to die. This movie really allowed the audience to look at officers and minorities differently and understand where each side is coming from.
Although the movie wasn’t based on one single true story, the audience can definitely see that it takes inspiration from events and issues that we face in real life. It tells all sides of the story and allows the audience to grow after watching. Although the movie allows for an amazing learning experience, I don’t understand why this movie hasn’t been talked about or spread around more. It is definitely educational and should be played in schools to allow students to see many different aspects of racial injustices and what both sides feel during the situation.
I am warning you, you might cry when watching, but I still urge you to watch it and spread it to others.