Screenings and Venue:
Sun. Nov. 16, 7:00 PM
Wedns. Nov. 19, 10:45 AM
Lacey Schwartz grew up in an idyllic, mostly carefree, upper-middle-class Jewish household. While she knew she looked different from the rest of her family, yet never wanting to admit it, her parents contended that Lacey’s darker complexion and curly hair were traits inherited from her Sicilian paternal grandfather. But after going to college and experiencing life outside of her contained Upstate New York community, Lacey finally begins to probe her immediate family history and uncovers unspoken secrets and a purposeful denial that cuts to the core of who she thinks she is, prompting a total re-evaluation of her identity.
Family dramas within documentaries that possess hidden secrets – think 2003’s Capturing the Friedmans – tend to be among the most fascinating of ‘real life’ subjects. Schwartz’ Little White Lie is among the most intriguing of the recent lot. While the ‘director as subject’ style of film can sometimes weigh thin, delving into Schwartz’ mind as she digs deeper into her family’s history, her mother’s secrets, and her own identity, make her the ideal narrator for her own story. She declares on her life in high school, her actual first time around any Black people, that, “I wasn’t trying to be white. I was white.” And while her parents cope with lying to their daughter her entire life (the scenes with her father Robert are especially harrowing), it is also her other family members – aunts, uncles, cousins – whose ignorance to either shed light or even inquire into Lacey’s heritage that is just as frustrating, but dramatic.
But even more fascinating are the lies people tell themselves to get by. Schwartz says in the film, “I’d find ways to reassure myself. I would tell myself my Dad gets really tan in the summertime…I was really just like my parents.” Yet her revelation towards the truth, and acceptance of whom she really is – or can be – is the center of the film. Schwartz’ transformation into a confident and aware woman is a sight to behold and makes Little White Lie one of the best documentaries of the year.
Little White Lie will also have a limited theatrical release beginning November 21. Details can be found at: www.littlewhiteliethefilm.com/screenings
Director: Lacey Schwartz
Producer: Lacey Schwartz, Mehret Mandefro
Cinematographer: James Adolphus
Editor: Toby Shimin, Erik Dugger
Music: Kathryn Bostic
Running Time: 66
Official Site: http://www.littlewhiteliethefilm.com
On Twitter: LWLfilm
On Facebook: https://facebook.com/littlewhiteliethefilm
For a full schedule of films visit www.docnyc.net