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1h 38m
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Passing' Poster
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.
Passing Poster


1h 38m
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.
Passing (2021) on IMDb

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Directed By: Rebecca Hall
Written By: Rebecca Hall (Screenplay), Nella Larsen (Novel)

Featured Comments/Tips

birdcages says...
2 years ago
for being a directorial debut (on the part of an incredibly talented woman to be fair) this was really solid. i think a lot of people might be unhappy with the unanswered aspects of it, or the lack of clarity or even the decision to film it in black and white and its aspect ratio. however, all of these work together to emphasize the nebulous gray area that being white-passing puts you in. it makes sense given hall's own experiences with racial identity. (if you're like me and didn't know much about her beyond being a great but very british actor: her mother is originally from michigan and her grandfather was a man of color passing as white during his own time, presumed to be african-american and of native american descent.) i think this was written well, directed well, and acted well. the source material is also worth a read. however, i'm white-passing myself (south asian, not bipoc) and i do think that my own experiences are part of why i found the lack of clarity and how much of this movie is open to interpretation to be part of what worked for it.
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Van Nyx says...
2 years ago
"We're, all of us, passing for one thing or other." - Irene I felt so conflicted about this film that it took some time to even be able to write a review. The film is good, simultaneously intriguing and frustrating. It is subtle and hopeful, and harsh and crushing in necessary places. As a queer, black person, I felt the weight of racial tension whilst watching, as well as the pressure to "pass" for something western society has deemed acceptable. It's a reminder to some of us that we have to maintain decorum, remain vigilant and make sure there are no cracks... nor that the fragile pot we hold dear doesn't get too close to edge and break the status quo... even if we lie to others (and ourselves) that we didn't actually want the pot anyway... but... rambling... right, yes... the movie is worth the watch. Bittersweet... but worth the watch. Survival of the fittest or something...
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JC230 says...
2 years ago
Tessa Thompson and Ruth Negga shine in a film that masterfully illustrates the allure, the burden, and the damage to all of passing. Passing is in the end in the eye of the beholder, what the white eye needs to tell itself to soothe its feelings or desires, and yet we still tear ourselves and each other apart trying to achieve or be in proximity to it.
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The_Argentinian says...
2 years ago
It's rare seeing an arthouse Netflix original. This is a beautiful film and yes, the ending will be divisive. I still don't know how to feel about it.
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Featured User Reviews

Louisa Moore - Screen Zealots
3 years ago
“Passing,” based on the 1929 novel by Nella Larsen, is and elegant and sophisticated film. It’s drop-dead gorgeous to look at, and the lead performances from Tessa Thompson and Ruth Negga are absolutely fabulous. Rebecca Hall‘s restrained direction adds to the beauty of the film, as does Edu More
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3 years ago
If you enjoy reading my Spoiler-Free reviews, please follow my blog @

Black-and-white films are something I'll always cherish, but when these two colors become part of the narrative itself, then I can only expect a great movie. Passing approaches the fear of being colo More
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2 years ago
Tessa Thompson is "Renie" - married to successful doctor "Brian" (André Holland), who heads for some tea after a long day and encounters childhood friend "Clare" (Ruth Negga). She doesn't immediately recognise her because she has little colour in her skin... Indeed, as the story pans out even her h More
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