“Shed My Skin” (“Aus der Haut”)
A Somewhat Relevant and Relatable Coming Out Story
Sometimes I am surprised when I read reviews of films I have already reviewed to discover that I wonder if I had really seen a movie. The reviews that I had read of “Shed My Skin” have been biting and cruel and I am not sure I understand why. I found it to be a sweet movie with something to say and yes, it is far from perfect but certainly not alone in that. Basically it is the story of adolescent Milan who realizes discovers his own suspected homosexuality at the age of 17 and the consequences for him and his family. He understands why he has been so down and rebellious.
While drunk, Milan wrecks his father’s car and his parents imagine the worst. They are relieved to find out he’s ‘just’ gay: not a problem for modern, well-adjusted parents like them. Or is it?
In many places in the film, the reactions of the actors are so incredibly irrational and exaggerated that I could not help but wonder what message the film should convey. The film does not shrink against the offensive approach to the issue of homosexuality. Even today it is still a taboo when it comes to processing in movies. Nevertheless, it largely dispenses with clichés. The video image is clear, the camera work is aimed fully at the “third-person-view”.
I found the film to be is worth seeing, but some character traits appear attached and not logically concluding at scenes before and behind on. The characters show little emotions and coincidences are brought partly demanded, resulting chain reactions are not fully settled and the final leaves many questions unanswered. The intention of the filmmakers is recognizable, but they still seem to have not sufficiently dealt with the complex topic. The film adheres to long on trifles and loses direction. It does promote tolerance, but is not able to cope with the full range of “other” sexuality.