Skin is the true-life story of reformed white-supremacist Bryon Widner (played by Jamie Bell) a young man raised by skinheads, for whom turning his back on hatred and violence meant undergoing painful and expensive operations to remove the tattoos that signified his terrible past life — a process only possible with the support of a Black activist.

Based on his short of the same name, writer/director Guy Nattiv talked to Deadline about how Bryon’s story hit close to him.

“Because I grew up in Israel with grandfather stories about the Holocaust and about Nazism and the whole fascism that he went through. For me to see to see someone who went through it in another way, a different way, and this journey that this guy made touched me.”

He continued, “My grandfather told me about how he started to forgive the second and third generation of Germans and forgiveness is something that we really cherish in our family, it’s a value he gave us. So I felt a lot of forgiveness to Bryon.”

The film, which had its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival, also stars Danielle Macdonald and Bill Camp, both of whom accompanied Nattiv’s at Deadline’s TIFF studio, as well as Mike Colter and Vera Farmiga.

See the full interview above.

Deadline Studio at TIFF 2018 presented by eOne. Special thanks to sponsor Watford Group, and partners Calii LoveLove Child Social, and Barocco Coffee.