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I just knew that they got me in fist fights quite often, so that was why I put 'em on my body. After that, that's when I decided, well, I should probably know what they're about, and that's when I started hittin' libraries and studying on this and that. That's when I started getting into the politics of everything. Before it was just to piss people off, honestly. Director and writer Guy Nattiv started working on turning Bryon Widner's story into a movie after he viewed the MSNBC documentary Erasing Hate about Widner's attempt to erase the hate from his life, both figuratively and literally.

He endured the lengthy and painful process of having the neo-Nazi tattoos removed from his body see video of his tattoo removal procedure. At first, Nattiv was unable to find funding for the film, and he instead made a similarly-themed Oscar-winning short film, also titled Skin. The success of the short film is what allowed him to make the feature. The progress of Bryon Widner's tattoo removal treatments is depicted in these eight photos. In total, he endured 24 painful treatments over the course of a year and a half.

Source: Bill Brummel Productions.

Displaced Persons and Documentary Illusions: Fred Zinnemann’s The Search

Yes, this was after the former neo-Nazi organization he belonged to, the Outlaw Hammerskins, disintegrated. Bryon and other former members of the Outlaw Hammerskins created a new organization they named the Vinlanders Social Club. Unlike real life, the movie depicts him as only ever belonging to the one gang. Rather, they seem to be included to emphasize the dysfunctional family structure that existed in such groups.

In the film, Shareen gives the boys disturbing physical affection and has them address her as "ma. His former gang, the Outlaw Hammerskins, did commit acts of violence, and the group it had split from, the Hammerskins, have been involved in harassment, assault and murder. While much of the violence happens domestically or against other factions, members have committed appalling acts of hate, including the shooting at the Sikh temple in Oak Creek, Wisconsin, which killed six people.

In researching the Skin true story, we learned that there was a point where Bryon was drinking a pack of beer every day, sometimes accompanied by a bottle of Jack Daniel's if the beer wasn't enough. Unhappy and believing there was no way out of his life as a skinhead, Bryon had become depressed and turned to alcohol.

He says that until he met Julie portrayed by Danielle Macdonald in the movie , he had no one to talk to about his conflicting feelings with regard to his life. That's all I did. Bryon and Daryle pictured below became friends as Daryle helped Bryon escape his life as a skinhead. However, his role in Bryon's life seems to have been heightened somewhat for the movie. In real life, others also helped Bryon to escape his life of hate. Leyden, whom I'd been following on the Web," says Bryon.

Fred Waitzkin

That was February Source: One People's Project. As they start to break away, they start coming to me or other people, and they just turn everything around. Some even go out and try to encourage others to get out there and get out of these things. In the Skin movie, Widner is stabbed by a young kid, and, in retaliation, he beats the boy mercilessly and carves an "SS" into the boy's cheek. We found no evidence that this happened in real life.

To stop Bryon from trying to use dermal acid to burn the tattoos off his face, his wife Julie contacted the Southern Poverty Law Center, a civil rights law firm.

They agreed to help in exchange for information about the gangs. Like in the movie, the SPLC managed to secure funding from an anonymous donor, who paid for the extensive laser removal process. But the name Gavin, obviously, we had to change. But yes, it's based on the real guy. I always told myself it was a penance. I deserved it because I've caused a lot of people a lot of pain.

The procedures, which began in June , were performed at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville you can watch one here. Widner was put under for some of them. You can leave your past behind, but you can't run from your own flesh.


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Source: Erasing Hate. During his 16 years as a skinhead, Widner had been in and out of jail, mostly for fighting. This included bar fights. Many of his fights were not against other races but rather rival skinhead groups. It was essentially gang warfare. We found no evidence that Widner had been shot in real life, nor did we find reports that the racial murder happened in real life. This includes other scenes toward the end of the movie.

In real life, they met at the white power concert Nordic Fest shown in the movie and then started talking a couple months later over the phone. Their phone relationship went on for a couple months. One night, Bryon came home half drunk after getting into a bar fight, and he called up Julie and proposed.

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It was at that moment that he decided he was done with his skinhead lifestyle. She was a gift from God. That's all there really is to that. She saved my life. After a decade of being a skinhead, Bryon had started to see faults in his thinking that the white race was the master race. Kind of realized the only thing I had achieved in my life was a bunch of scars, a legal record, and halfway cirrhosis of the liver.

That's it. I've achieved nothing else in life. Nothing positive. I was actually literally trying to drink myself to death. I was just looking for a way out. I was done.

I had given up on life. I had given up on everything. I was just done.

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A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood is not a Mister Rogers biopic. It’s weirder, and better.

This is in line with the true story. Bryon had been depressed about his life and was on the edge of suicide.


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It was then that he met Julie. Moviegoers not concerned with the fine points of documentary probably would have no doubt been sincerely entertained by the location shooting and the narration. What remains, now that the war is over, is what we have done to describe the nature and the aspirations of the United Nations to each other, what has been done to describe the new spirit of unity at home and of international co-operation abroad.

Figure 1. Shots of the destroyed city, then Karel emerging from the rubble, prepare us for the first meeting of the American soldier and the boy. It is sufficient that it portrays the partial reconstruction of a family. However, it could also be suggesting that Americans should rebuild the values of the New Deal. Kracauer would certainly approve of such a notion.