‘Passing’ Director Rebecca Hall Discusses Family Legacy Of Passing, “My Great Grandfather Was Born A Slave”

One of the most talked about films being considered this upcoming award season is ‘Passing’.

Source: Emily V. Aragones / Netflix

Bossip Sr. Content Director Janeé Bolden spoke with first-time feature film director Rebecca Hall about how making ‘Passing’ helped her grapple with a family legacy of passing for white. “My grandfather passed but his father, his parents did not,” Hall told BOSSIP. “My great grandfather was born enslaved and ended up going on to work in Washington, D.C. and toasting Frederick Douglass at the White House. That information was erased from our history. My mother and I didn’t have access to that information until this past year.” Hall, whose mother is from Detroit, MI, was raised in Great Britain, but her maternal grandmother was Dutch and maternal grandfather passed as white. She reveals that her film, which was adapted from the Nella Larsen novel of the same name, is relevant today because she and others like her are still grappling with the consequences of “passing.” She also speaks about how she feels she inherited all of the shame and none of the pride over her ancestry until now, when she’s been able to learn more about her family legacy and her ancestors’ accomplishments.

Watch the interview below:

We’ve been watching Rebecca Hall in movies like ‘The Town’ and ‘The Awakening’ and had no idea she had African-American ancestry.

All families have their secrets, right? We loved this film and are excited for more people to see it.

‘Passing’ opened in select theaters Wednesday and will be available on Netflix November 10th.

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