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SOUTH AFRICA IN THE CINEMATIC IMAGINARY: THE STORY OF A WHITE YOUTH IN SKIN

Khatija Bibi Khan

Abstract


The rapid production of films of diversity in post-1994 South Africa has unfortunately not been matched by critical works on film. Part of the reason is that some of the films recycle old themes that celebrate the worst in black people. Another possible reason could be that a good number of films wallow in personality praise, and certainly of Mandela, especially after his demise. Despite these problems of film criticism in post-1994 South Africa, it appears that some new critics have not felt compelled to waste their energy on analysing the Bantustan film – a kind of film that was made for black people by the apartheid system but has re-surfaced after 1994 in different ways. The patent lack of more critical works on film that engages the identities and social imaginaries of young and white South Africans is partly addressed in SKIN – a film that registers the mental growth and spiritual development of Sandra’s multiple selves. This article argues that SKIN portrays the racial neurosis of the apartheid system; and the question of identity affecting young white youths during and after apartheid is experienced at the racial, gender and sex levels.


Keywords


Mandela; SKIN; films of diversity; South Africa; apartheid system; black people; postcolonial perspective

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