I’ll say one thing for Nate Parker. He doesn’t shy away from trouble. His new film, “American Skin,” looks violent and incendiary. He’s gotten Spike Lee to “present” it, and he’s found Vertical Entertainment– not exactly Sony Pictures Classics — to release it.
Parker’s very good, Oscar bound “Birth of a Nation” was run aground in 2016 when the story of his college rape trial was revealed. Parker was acquitted and the subject didn’t come up for years. But when “Birth of a Nation” looked like it might be a big awards contender, the whole saga was revived. It turned out the rape victim had subsequently committed suicide years later. Parker didn’t seem contrite or apologetic. “Birth of a Nation” collapsed, disappeared, and so did Parker.
So now what? Now “American Skin,” for better or worse, a revenge movie about a Marine veteran who’s out to punish the bad white cops who killed his 14 year old kid.
Can Parker overcome his 2016 scandal? Is this the way to do it? Time will tell.