American Skin, the latest film from actor-director Nate Parker, is finally arriving in U.S. cinemas more than a year after it debuted at the Venice Film Festival. The movie depicts a white police officer killing a black teen during a traffic stop, and the subsequent attempt by the boy’s father to exact revenge.
The movie, which is set to open in January, was shot prior to the death of George Floyd and the eruption of Black Lives Matter riots in cities across the country. Spike Lee is lending his name to the movie in a “presented by” credit in apparent effort to boost publicity.
Nate Parker has been persona non grata in Hollywood since The Birth of a Nation, his directorial debut that was on track to become an Oscar contender in 2016 before the entertainment media became obsessed with a past rape accusation against the actor-director that happened when he was in college.
Parker was acquitted of the charges and has always maintained his innocence. But the media swarm tainted the movie, which sank at the box office and nearly took his career with it.
Now Parker is back with the independently financed American Skin. He also has the support of a number of friends in Hollywood, including Spike Lee and Selma actor David Oyelowo, who is teaming up with Parker on two movies, one of which is a planned biopic of boxer Sugar Ray Robinson.