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Film / Skins

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Skins is a 2002 crime film directed by Chris Eyre, based on the novel of the same name by Adrian C. Louis.

The film is set on the fictional Beaver Creek Indian Reservation in South Dakota near the Nebraska border, a place very much like the actual Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, the setting in the book and the place where the film was actually shot. Lakota Sioux tribal police officer Rudy Yellow Lodge (Eric Schweig) struggles to rescue his older, alcoholic brother, Mogie (Graham Greene), a former football star who was wounded in combat three times in Vietnam.

No relation to Skins (2017), a film about deformed people in love.

Tropes associated with Skins:

  • The Alcoholic: Mogie became an alcoholic when he returned from Vietnam.
  • Anti-Hero: When Rudy becomes a vigilante. The way he deals justice is nothing short of brutal.
  • Cool Old Guy: With all his faults Mogie has an interesting sense of humor and doesn't take himself to seriously.
  • Generation Xerox:
    • Rudy and Mogie’s father Sonny used to be a star football player until he took to drinking. Both Rudy and Mogie joined the football team. And sadly Mogie also became an alcoholic.
    • Mogie’s son Herbie also joined the football team. Thankfully he avoided consuming alcohol like Rudy uncle.
  • He Who Fights Monsters: Rudy intended to “help” his people by becoming a vigilante. He doesn’t realize the harm he actually ends up causing until it’s too late.
  • Neglected Rez: Beaver Creek Indian Reservation for the Lakota Sioux people is depicted as being a poor place with little going for it. Rudy, a tribal police officer struggles to help the town, as well as his brother Mogie, an alcoholic single father to a teenaged boy. At one point, Rudy goes berserk on a liquor store the next town over because it's explicitly profiting off of alcoholic residents from the reserve.
  • Nice Guy: Herbie. Seriously, not many people have the patience to deal with an alcoholic parent or be openly affectionate towards them. He also turns out to be a very healthy and decent guy.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: When Rudy incinerated the Liquor store he had the intention of destroying it. This was done with the intention of having the store removed. Instead Rudy learns that the insurance fully covered the place and that it is being reconstructed to be bigger.
  • Ripped from the Headlines: The case of the boy that was kicked to death .
  • Stocking Mask: Rudy uses this as well as black shoe polish to disguise himself during his vigilante activities.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: While investigating an abandoned house Rudy finds a boy that’s been kicked to death. The killers manage to escape and all Rudy has to go on to identify the killers is green shoelaces. But stroke of sheer luck he bumps into the killers, specifically the owner of the green shoelaces. Already outraged that the murder of the boy was going to be left unsolved, Rudy takes it upon himself to deliver the justice-by scaring the living daylights out of the two boy and destroying their kneecaps with a bat.