A film about denial, race, family secrets and a search for identity.
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Little White Lie tells Lacey Schwartz's story of growing up in a typical upper-middle-class Jewish household in Woodstock, NY, with loving parents and a strong sense of her Jewish identity - despite the questions from those around her about how a white girl could have such dark skin. She believes her family's explanation that her looks were inherited from her dark-skinned Sicilian grandfather. But when her parents abruptly split, her gut starts to tell her something different. At eighteen, she finally confronts her mother and learns the truth: her biological father was not the man who raised her, but a black man named Rodney with whom her mother had an affair. Afraid of losing her relationship with her parents, Lacey doesn't openly acknowledge her newly discovered black identity with her white family until her biological father dies shortly before Lacey's thirtieth birthday. Following the funeral, Lacey begins a quest to reconcile the hidden pieces of her life and heal her ... Written by Anonymous

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21 November 2014 (USA)  »

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Outside the Box  »

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A Thoughtful and Meaningful Documentary
19 July 2015 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I applaud Lacey Schwartz's intention and success in making this film, assuming I understand her intention, i.e., to bring to light the issue of lying and denial of truth within a family, as well as all the implications about race, being true to oneself, etc.

I related personally to the film on more than one level. Like both Lacey and her parents, I grew up in a New York Jewish household, so many of the cultural routines and features shown were ones I also experienced. I also have a "mixed" child; I am white and my son's father is black. Unfortunately, my son would not benefit from watching this film as he is developmentally delayed and would not grasp it.

I found myself feeling so warmly toward both Lacey and her mother and father. It is a testament to the love Lacey must have felt growing up, despite having been deceived, that she grew up to be so self-possessed, creative, and intellectually curious rather than becoming someone with anger, depression, and self-destructive behaviors which also could have happened and didn't. She seems to be as beautiful a person inside as she is outside.

And, I just love the way she ended the film, by saying she thought of changing her last name, having never particularly liked the name Schwartz, but ultimately decided to keep it because, ironically, in Yiddish, "schwartz" means "black."

I wish her, her parents, and everyone else in her family, all the best.


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