Little White Lie

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 open 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 age of 18, 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 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. When her biological father dies shortly before Lacey’s 30th birthday, the family secret can stay hidden no longer. Following the funeral, Lacey begins a quest to reconcile the hidden pieces of her life and heal her relationship with the only father she ever knew.

65 minutes
Lacey Schwartz, James Adolphus

Shown at

  1. 15th Annual Rutgers Jewish Film Festival - 2014
  2. 17th Annual Lenore Marwil Jewish Film Festival (Detroit) - 2015
  3. 18th CAJE Miami Jewish Film Festival - 2015
  4. 19th Denver Jewish Film Festival - 2015
  5. 20th Annual Seattle Jewish Film Festival - 2015
  6. 23rd Toronto Jewish Film Festival - 2015
  7. 25th Annual San Diego Jewish Film Festival - 2015
  8. 25th Washington Jewish Film Festival - 2015
  9. Ames-Azalak Rochester Jewish Film Festival - 2015
  10. Atlanta Jewish Film Festival - 2015
  11. Boston Jewish Film Festival - 2014
  12. Cherry Hill Volvo Jewish Film Festival - 2015
  13. Chicago Jewish Film Festival - 2015
  14. Cleveland Jewish Film Festival - 2015
  15. Columbus Jewish Film Festival - 2015
  16. Karen Schneider Jewish Film Festival of Flint - 2015
  17. Maine Jewish Film Festival - 2015
  18. Michiana Jewish Film Festival - 2015
  19. Nashville Jewish Film Festival - 2014
  20. New Hampshire Jewish Film Festival - 2015
  21. New Jersey Jewish Film Festival - 2015
  22. Pioneer Valley Jewish Film Festival - 2015
  23. Randi & Bruce Pergament Fall Mini Film Festival - 2015
  24. Randi & Bruce Pergament Jewish Film Festival - 2015
  25. San Francisco Jewish Film Festival - 2014
  26. St. Louis Jewish Film Festival - 2015
  27. Tucson International Jewish Film Festival - 2015
  28. Vancouver Jewish Film Festival - 2015
  29. Westchester Jewish Film Festival - 2015

6 Responses

  1. jewishfilmfests says:

    After the ‘White Lie’ Implodes, a Rich Narrative Unfurls
    ‘Little White Lie,’ Lacey Schwartz’s Film About Self-Discovery
    By Felicia R. Lee
    “Lacey Schwartz, a 37-year-old Harvard Law School graduate turned filmmaker, moves with ease in circles in which her identity as both black and Jewish seems unremarkable. What makes her biography striking is that Ms. Schwartz, a woman with light brown skin and a cascade of dark curls, grew up believing she was white.

    How and why that happened is the subject of her film, “Little White Lie,” which has its premiere on Sunday at the San Francisco Jewish Film Festival, its first stop on the festival circuit before being broadcast on PBS next year. With Ms. Schwartz narrating, the camera travels to a funeral, girlfriend gab sessions and even her therapy appointments. At each stop, in raw conversations with family and friends, Ms. Schwartz asks over and over, how and why did she pass as white?”

  2. jewishfilmfests says:

    Documentary reveals Jewish mother’s ‘Little White Lie’ by Rebecca Spence
    “…Schwartz, who lives in Brooklyn, N.Y., with her husband and twin 1-year-old sons, serves as the group’s national outreach director and its New York regional director. Diane Tobin, Be’chol Lashon’s founder and executive director, said the organization plans to use the film to educate teens and spark conversations about Jewish diversity…”

  3. jewishfilmfests says:

    A Secret Falls From the Family Tree, and a Girl’s Identity Branches Out

    The documentary “Little White Lie” would be provocative simply for what it says about race and identity. The director Lacey Schwartz grew up Jewish in Woodstock, N.Y., yet something seemed off. Her peers would ask if she was adopted. At Ms. Schwartz’s bat mitzvah, a member of her synagogue assumed she was an Ethiopian Jew. Her family attributed her darker skin to a Sicilian great-grandfather. Only gradually did Ms. Schwartz, now 37, begin to suspect what might seem obvious to an outsider: that her biological father was black…
    Read full article:

  4. jewishfilmfests says:

    On PBS, Monday, March 23, 2015
    Little White Lie, by Lacey Schwartz

    Filmmaker Lacey Schwartz grew up with two loving Jewish parents. When she discovers that the man she’s always assumed was her father is not her biological parent, she unlocks a powerful family secret about her real father’s identity.

  5. jewishfilmfests says:

    Lacey Schwartz didn’t set out to be a filmmaker, but a story too personal to ignore dropped in her lap. Little White Lie is her documentary film about her family history, secrets, and ultimately her decision to face—and tell—the truth.

  6. jewishfilmfests says:

    Meet the black woman raised to believe she was white
    Growing up, Lacey Schwartz always felt different. It wasn’t until her late teens that she discovered the truth about her parentage – and her race

For information about this film, including how to get a copy of it, please click the DVD, Instant Video, IMDB or website link above.
(This site is not affiliated with the film.)

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