*WARNING: Spoilers ahead for Passing*

Passing is the newest arrival on Netflix and it tells the fascinating story of Irene Redfield and her renewed acquaintance with childhood friend, Clare Kendry.

Over the course of the film, the pair’s relationship sours and in the final scene, Clare falls to her death from the window of an apartment building.

However, viewers have been left asking if Irene was behind Clare’s death in Passing and whether or not she pushed her childhood friend from the window herself.

Passing | Official Trailer | Netflix

Passing | Official Trailer | Netflix

Passing release date and plot

Passing arrived on Netflix on November 10th, 2021 after the film enjoyed a limited theatrical release at the end of October.

Based on the 1929 novel by Nella Larsen, Passing is the directorial debut of Rebecca Hall and it tells the story of two Black women who have had very different lives since they grew up together as children.

Irene (Tessa Thompson) identifies as a Black woman while Clare (Ruth Negga) is able to ‘pass’ as white and is married to a wealthy white husband, John (Alexander Skarsgård), who openly despises and degrades African-Americans, not knowing his own wife’s heritage.

After a chance encounter, the childhood friends reconnect as adults, although Irene quickly begins to wonder if doing so could be a mistake.


Irene and Clare’s relationship in Passing

While Irene is initially pleased to see Clare again after so many years, their relationship begins to sour as the pair spend more time together.

That’s because Irene suspects that Clare could be having an affair with her husband, Brian.

After taking Irene to a jazz club with Brian, Irene notices that Clare and Brian share plenty of chemistry and the two appear to grow closer with each passing day.

Eventually, Irene’s relationship with both Brian and Clare becomes more fraught as she is increasingly convinced about the affair until it culminates with Irene attempting to break off her friendship with Clare.

However, matters are complicated further when Clare’s husband, John, comes to realise his wife’s heritage and Irene fears that if Clare and John were to get divorced, it would allow Clare to pursue Brian yet further.


Did Irene push and kill Clare?

The final scene of Passing is left ambiguous but it appears that Irene does surreptitiously push Clare from the apartment window which leads to her death.

Passing’s final act takes place at a party, during which Irene spends her time quietly smoking by the open window and Clare comes to stand with her.

That is until Clare’s husband, John, arrives to confront his wife about her heritage.

John angrily accuses Clare of being a liar and makes a lunge for her.

In the confusion, Irene appears to covertly push Clare so that she falls out of the window to her death. Although, it could potentially be argued that Irene put her arm around Clare to protect her.

When she is questioned by police, Irene maintains that Clare’s death was an accident and that she fell out of the window without anyone pushing her, a story which the police seem to go along with.


Passing is available to stream now on Netflix after releasing on November 10th, 2021.

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