To Irene, passing is just some silly, insignificant thing. It is almost like playing dress-up; she positions her hat strategically, hiding her Black features from the white store clerks and shoppers. But Clare’s passing is something much more transgressive and intentional, an act of racial betrayal that Irene initially finds repulsive, and yet alluring. Neither Clare’s husband John (Alexander Skarsgård
) — who hates Black people intensely — or her daughter know the truth about her background. Clare, however, longs to return to Blackness. Because of this, she latches onto Irene and her family, with deadly consequences. After Irene suspects that her husband Brian and Clare are having an affair, and after Clare’s husband discovers that his wife is Black, a violent confrontation ensues, and the film ends with Clare falling out of a window, her body broken and lifeless on a bed of pure white, Harlem snow.