‘Passing’ review: Secrets unfold in this subtle, thoughtful film on racial identity

Published by
The Seattle Times

Rebecca Hall’s assured, thoughtful debut film “Passing” is a story of two women: Irene (Tessa Thompson), a doctor’s wife in 1920s Harlem, and Clare (Ruth Negga), a friend from Irene’s past with whom she unexpectedly reconnects. Both are light-skinned Black women, but Clare has chosen to live as white, marrying a white man (Alexander Skarsgard) and keeping her background secret. Irene, serendipitously meeting up with Clare on a visit to Chicago, widens her eyes on hearing this. “Does he ….” she asks, referring to Clare’s husband, not needing to finish the question. No, he doesn’t know, Clare …

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