A gripping docu despite being made with unfussy simplicity, “Skinhead Attitude” presents both a history of the skinhead movement since the ’60s and a survey of the youth cult’s different contempo branches in the Europe and U.S. Characters range from the anti-racist skins who simply love the music and fashions, to ultra right-wing, neo-Nazi elements. Although probably too niche for most theatrical markets, film could get a Doc Marten on the ratings ladder for specialist broadcasters.
Built around a journey of discovery for 22-year-old French skinhead Karole, pic includes interviews with various talking heads, particularly punk, ska and “oi” musicians (Laurel Aitken, Jimmy Pursey, Ian Stuart) whose musical stylings shaped the movement, as well as ordinary skins from both sides of the political divide. Links to terrorist organizations such as Blighty’s ultra-right-wing Combat 18 group are explored. In North America, extensive footage is devoted to the increasingly violent clashes between factions, which resulted in the recent murder of two Las Vegas-based “Unity” skins, one white, one black. Although unquestioningly siding with the anti-racist skins, doc doesn’t flinch from showing the abrasive side of the stubble. Tech credits are fine.