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Little White Lie

HD   NR Closed Captioning

Lacey Schwartz

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About the Movie

Filmmaker Lacey Schwartz grew up in a typical upper middle class Jewish household in Woodstock, NY, with loving parents and a strong sense of her identity, despite occasional remarks from those around her who wondered how a white girl could have such dark skin. As a child she always believed her family’s explanation — that her appearance was inherited from her dark-skinned Sicilian grandfather — but as a teenager, after her parents abruptly split, her gut begins to tell her something else. Lacey’s suspicions intensify when she attends a more diverse high school, where she suddenly doesn’t quite fit any racial profile, and her classmates are vocal about noting it. At the urging of her boyfriend, who is of mixed race, she begins to question her true identity and the validity of her parents’ explanation. At 18, Lacey finally confronts her mother and learns the truth about her biological father. As Little White Lie shows, both the bonds and the lies told between family members can run deep. Lacey strives to reconcile her newfound African American heritage with her Jewish upbringing, and discovers that in order to define herself, she must first come to terms with her parents’ choices and how much she is willing to let their past affect her future. Piecing together her family history and the story of her dual identity using home videos, archival footage, interviews, and episodes from her own life, Lacey discovers that answering those questions means understanding her parents’ stories as well as her own.

Rotten Tomatoes Movie Reviews


  • Reviews Counted: 5
  • Fresh: 4
  • Rotten: 1
  • Average Rating: 6.8/10

Top Critics' Reviews

Fresh: The film is a searing portrait of collective denial - a diagnosis from which Ms. Schwartz doesn't exempt herself. – Ben Kenigsberg, New York Times, Nov 24, 2014

Fresh: Schwartz's first-person narrative proves moving. But given that the film is barely an hour long, one can't help but feel that parts could have been developed more ... – Martin Tsai, Los Angeles Times, Nov 26, 2014

Rotten: That story is interesting enough, though Schwartz uses it mainly as a pretext for navel-gazing. – Ben Sachs, Chicago Reader, Aug 14, 2014

Read More About This Movie On Rotten Tomatoes

Customer Reviews

Beautiful Film!

This movie is amazing! I really didn't know what to expect but Lacey's story is beautiful and honest, one I hadn't heard before but now realize isn't so singular. It's inspirational and fascinating and everyone with or without a family secret should watch!!

Amazing film

This is a truly an amazing bit of documentary filmmaking. Little White Lie is that rare documentary that tells an incredibly personal and unique story in a way that resonates with anyone who has ever dealt with the complex challenges associated with being a part of any family. The movie manages to be blunt while also compassionate, and clever while also simple. It will leave you laughing at some points and at other points you will feel your heart breaking for some of the people in the film. I cannot recommend highly enough.

Great Film!

This is a truly wonderful film. It explores questions that are relevant to every one and every family. Powerful!

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