Passing (which is based on the namesake novel by Nella Larsen) takes place during the Harlem Renaissance. The story follows a Black couple who are trying their best to fit in, even if it means bowing their heads in public.
When the wife (Tessa Thompson) reconnects with a childhood friend, she’s introduced to the idea of “passing.” This involves light-skinned Black Americans passing as white, so they can receive more opportunities—like marrying rich.
“Things aren’t always what they seem,” Thompson says in the clip. And then adds, “It’s easy for a Negro to pass for white. I’m not sure it would be so simple for a white person to pass for color.”
Director and writer Rebecca Hall (The Prestige, The Town) purposely filmed the movie in black and white to further amplify the themes. In addition to Thompson (Irene “Reenie” Redfield), Passing also stars Ruth Negga (Clare Bellew), André Holland (Brian Redfield), Alexander Skarsgård (John Bellew), Bill Camp (Hugh Wentworth), Gbenga Akinnagbe (Dave Freedland), Antoinette Crowe-Legacy (Felise) and Ashley Ware Jenkins (Zu).
Netflix’s official synopsis reads, “In 1920s New York City, a Black woman finds her world upended when her life becomes intertwined with a former childhood friend who’s passing as white.”
Sounds like an absolute must-watch.
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