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Original Skin

average rating is 4 out of 5


Joe Beck


Posted on:

May 15, 2024

Film Reviews
Original Skin
Directed by:
Mdhamiri A Nkemi
Written by:
Eve Hedderwick Turner
Sorcha Groundsell, Olive Gray

To touch another’s skin is something so simple, yet it can be so sensual. Of course, not always,

sometimes it is simply the shaking of hands after a football match, or simply a doctor examining you. But sometimes, maybe even often, when two people touch skin on skin, it is a sensual, tantalising experience. Be it a simple brush of two hands, or a couple holding hands in the street or caressing one another in bed, there is something sensual about feeling another’s skin. ‘Original skin’ understands this acutely, and depicts the importance of skin and the sense of touch in a fittingly sensual manner.


‘Ordinary Skin’ focuses on an unnamed young woman, played by Sorcha Groundsell, who has issues with her skin. There’s a sensitive red patch on her arm, which she finds herself constantly picking at. This is an alternate reality, where through having sex you switch bodies with the other person. Early assumptions are that this causes discomfort in the skin hence the sensitive patch, though the opposite could be true, and it may be due to the young woman’s frigidity that suffers such an issue.


The young woman lives in a convent type place, and is sent away one night by the people, whom she calls sisters. As they drive through London she is entranced by the blindingly neon lights and general hubbub, which make London, like any other major city so enchanting at night time. Through a surprising, and not altogether convincing, turn of events, the young woman finds herself in sequin cardigan and at a nightclub, where she is enraptured by another alluring young woman, played by Olive Gray, and ends up sleeping with her, and, in the process, swapping bodies.


Director Mdhamiri A Nkemi perfectly understands the sensuality and sexuality of the film - the concept of sex being a transferal of bodies in itself is both these things. He directs the film, and in particular the sex scene between the two young women as something raw, passionate, and tender. The blurriness of it all enhances the sensuality, whilst the impeccable use of light in these scenes creates a rawness and vulnerability about them. This is pre-empted by the scenes of the young woman travelling through London, which is shot with similar sensuality, and is just as affecting.


Although the script, written by Eve Hedderwick Turner, at times loses itself, with a couple of unconvincing plot points, the dialogue is nonetheless well written, and ultimately the concept itself is ingenious and bold. ‘Ordinary skin’ is a deeply sensual film, which is tantalisingly sexual and transgressive, and well worth experiencing.

About the Film Critic
Joe Beck
Joe Beck
Short Film
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