As one of the most representative social animals, human beings keep seeking for their identity and belonging throughout their lives. However, it is common that during such seeking process they would confront all kinds of barriers from society and groups that prevent them from their destination. In the film Skin by Anthony Fabian, the protagonist, Sandra Laing, gets lost on her way of searching for her belonging, caused by social and racial barriers, until very late in her life. Yet there also exist people like Nelson Mandela, who lives in both the same country and the same era, who are disrupted by such barriers but still find their belonging through hard effort. After all, barriers in society and groups may prevent individuals from belonging but they can be overwhelmed as well.
Sandra Laing is obviously the character who suffers most from barriers in life in the film Skin. Her misfortune originally comes with her black skin colour given that she was born in a white family under the era when apartheid is savaging within South Africa. Her pre-school life is fantastic as she is taken good care by her family who do not care about her skin colour and regard her as a member. During this time she has no need to worry about her belonging since she already belongs to this warm family. However, her sense of belonging wavers on the first day of white-only-school, the first step into the society, where teachers and students look at her in an extremely strange way. Later she receives malice like indication black skin is a symbol of inferiority, race examination by doctor or even physical violence from her teacher. These racial barriers raise her doubt if she still belong to the white community, or even her family. This is the first time she nearly loses her belonging as a child with immature cognition. After stepping into adolescent age, she realises for the first time that she may belong to black community when she meets Petrus who she can live comfortably with.