Tessa Thompson and Ruth Negga are two beautiful black women who are on the light side of the spectrum. In this movie Negga decides she’s light enough to live her life as a white woman in an effort called Passing. After losing touch with each other in childhood, Thompson who plays Rene runs into Negga playing Claire at a time when she was passing for white, and married to a white man who not ironically hated black folks (did I mention the movie is set in the late 1920s?)
Though the term Passing comes from the concept of black people getting away with being white (and on one level that Rachel Dolezal thing), the movie in itself tries to examine how we are all passing for something. Most of it is not as plain to see as the black concept except for the idea of homosexuals passing for straight, something that was pretty obvious from the jump.
I think my favorite part of the movie is the idea that some people can pass better than others. I noticed little elements of some people who feel they can’t pass having mixed feelings about those who can pass and what was weird about that is that the person who can pass seemed to fit in wherever they wanted, which was hard for the person who could not pass to see.
I also think it’s interesting that a white women wrote and directed this movie, unless Rebecca Hall is passing. I’m making an assumption that this is the actress, Rebecca Hall. I say this: there is no passing that this movie was directed by a white woman (even if she’s passing). It’s very cool that Hall wanted to tell this story, but I think it would have felt different if Regina King directed it.
I would say the movie had a very interesting subject that should be talked about and if this is Hall’s directorial debut…it shows.