The racial drama Passing, starring Ruth Negga and Tessa Thompson, will be coming to Netflix in November: here’s the trailer.

From The Prestige to the recent (and very good) The Night House, Rebecca Hall is known for playing haunted characters very, very well (not to besmirch her other performances, to be clear, she just does a particularly wonderful job at portraying tortured souls). Now, Hall has applied some of that trademark angst to her first film as a director, with the imminent launch of Passing. 

The film’s official synopsis reads:

Adapted from the celebrated 1929 novel of the same name by Nella Larsen, Passing tells the story of two Black women, Irene Redfield (Tessa Thompson) and Clare Kendry (Academy Award nominee Ruth Negga), who can “pass” as white but choose to live on opposite sides of the colour line during the height of the Harlem Renaissance in late 1920s New York. After a chance encounter reunites the former childhood friends one summer afternoon, Irene reluctantly allows Clare into her home, where she ingratiates herself to 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 by Clare, and Passing becomes a riveting examination of obsession, repression and the lies people tell themselves and others to protect their carefully constructed realities.

It sounds like a wonderful setup for drama in the film, but a deeply personal story for Hall too, as her own family is biracial and included those who ‘passed’ as white, with all of the attendant burdens that come with that. Shot in black and white with a promising cast, Passing, in the US at least, will get a short release in cinemas on October 27th before heading to Netflix on November 10th.

We’d hope to see the same release format here too, but in the meantime, do check out the trailer below.

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