Black men and women getting killed by police and getting away scott free is a narrative our community is all too familiar with. In 2014, following the death of Michael Brown, Nate Parker traveled to Ferguson, Missouri to gain a better understanding of the tensions between law enforcement and young men and women of color. The most tragic moment of this trip arrived when he stood downtown between two infuriated groups of citizens. From one side came yells of ‘Justice for Mike Brown’ and on the other ‘Support Our Police’. It became clear to him, instantly, the disconnect in our understanding of citizenship, law enforcement, and our responsibility to preserve American life. As an American citizen, father, brother, son and artist, Nate felt compelled to use his platform as a filmmaker to respond to this crisis in a way that could not only promote social equity, but initiate a global culture shift that can result in the preservation of lives.
AMERICAN SKIN was birthed out of this experience. Nate wrote, directed and starred in the film, playing an Iraqi war veteran Lincoln “Linc” Jefferson. After Linc witnessed his son 14-yr old son murdered by a white police officer during a traffic stop, who goes uncharged, he takes justice into his own hands…LITERALLY! The officer is put on trial, in an unorthodox manner that lead to a series of events he hopes will finally lead to justice for his son.
“I have developed a piece that I hope will challenge systems of oppression by promoting a much-needed dialogue between law enforcement and community members of color. This dialogue, while spoken of often, has never been realized in the arena of public discourse. My hope is that this dialogue will not only create healing within these broken relationships, but will serve as preventative maintenance, by conditioning both sides to take a necessary beat, which can in turn save a life” explains Nate.
This emotionally charged masterfully done film, also stars Omari Hardwick (James ‘Ghost’ St. Patrick on the hit Starz Original Series Power), Vanessa Bell Calloway, Theo Rossi (Shades on Marvel’s Luke Cage for Netflix and the fan favorite Juan Carlos ‘JUICE’ Ortiz on the critically acclaimed television series Sons of Anarchy on FX) and up & comer Shane Paul Mcghie (Charlie Day & Wrigley Pictures’ El Tonto, Netflix’s Anthology series, Dolly Parton’s Heartstrings, Amazing Stories for Apple+ and the upcoming fourth season of BET’s Greenleaf).
After watching the film, Spike Lee was blown away and jumped onboard as an executive producer to ensure visibility of this project. AMERICAN SKIN releases Friday, January 15, 2021 – Martin Luther King – weekend by Vertical Entertainment and is available on digital platforms!