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Genre: Drama

Duration: 98 Minutes


Rebecca Hall makes her directorial debut with her adaptation of Nella Larsen’s celebrated 1929 novel of the same name. Set during the height of the Harlem Renaissance in late-1920s New York, Passing tells the story of two Black women — former childhood friends Irene Redfield (Tessa Thompson) and Clare Kendry (Academy Award nominee Ruth Negga) — who can both “pass” as white but choose to live on opposite sides of the colour line. After a chance encounter reunites the two women one summer afternoon, Irene reluctantly allows Clare into her home, where Clare ingratiates herself with Irene’s husband (André Holland) and family — and soon her larger social circle as well. As their lives become more deeply intertwined, Irene finds her once-steady existence upended.

Passing is a riveting examination of obsession, repression, and the lies people tell themselves and others to protect their carefully constructed realities. The film intimately uses the notion of “passing” to explore not just racial identity but also gender, sexuality, the responsibilities of motherhood, and the performance of femininity. Also starring Bill Camp, Gbenga Akinnagbe, Antoinette Crowe-Legacy, and Alexander Skarsgård