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The Rachel Divide (2018)

TV-MA | | Documentary | 27 April 2018 (USA)
Rachel Dolezal becomes a social phenomenon when she passes herself off as an African American and becomes the head of her local N.A.A.C.P. chapter.

Director:

Laura Brownson
1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Credited cast:
Rachel Dolezal ... Herself
Franklin Dolezal ... Himself
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Siobhan Abrams Siobhan Abrams ... Herself
Vanessa Bayer ... Herself (archive footage)
Tim Black ... Himself
Tamar Braxton ... Herself (archive footage)
Esther Dolezal Esther Dolezal ... Himself
Izaiah Dolezal Izaiah Dolezal ... Himself
Lawrence Dolezal Lawrence Dolezal ... Himself (archive footage)
Ruthanne Dolezal Ruthanne Dolezal ... Herself (archive footage)
Whoopi Goldberg ... Herself (archive footage)
Savannah Guthrie ... Herself (archive footage)
Melissa Harris-Perry ... Herself (archive footage)
Chris Hayes ... (archive footage)
Adrienne Houghton ... Herself (archive footage)
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Storyline

Rachel Dolezal became infamous when she was unmasked as a white woman living as the black head of her local N.A.A.C.P. chapter. Her unbelievable story issued a direct challenge to the sensitive topics of race and identity, while playing into the age of viral media. Whether she was hated or simply misunderstood, Dolezal touched a collective nerve in the racially charged contemporary, causing her to burst into the public consciousness. Filming exclusively with Dolezal, her sons, and her adoptive sister Esther, documentarian Laura Brownson delves into the motivations and personal life of this divisive and controversial figure; in doing so, she explores the troubled past that has informed Dolezal's confusing present and uncertain future. Executive produced by Academy Award®-winner Roger Ross Williams, The Rachel Divide is a fully realized portrait of a life more complex than any tabloid would lead its readers to believe. The film demands the question: Is Dolezal truly "trans-black," as ...

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Who does she think she is?

Genres:

Documentary

Certificate:

TV-MA | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

27 April 2018 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Czarno-biała historia Rachel Dolezal See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Quotes

Franklin: All my mom did is say she was black and people just lost their minds
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User Reviews

 
A Train Wreck Too Gruesome to More than Glance At
21 May 2018 | by dwankanSee all my reviews

The concept interested me because I had heard much indirect explanation of this woman's claims of blackness but had never spent any time researching the real story. This documentary tells the real story, which I had heard in its entirety through all the second-hand reports: a white woman spent a large portion of her life pretending to be black, to the point of convincing herself that a choice to be so would make her actually so, and through her pretense actually rose to a position of social importance among civil rights groups. She does much complaining on camera about how much of a joke everyone treats her as, but even those who love her (friends and family) repeatedly iterate in veiled terms that it's all just an awkward ruse no one is benefiting from. I was especially interested in the story because of a (former) friend of mine from college who had pulled the same stunt, dressing like, acting like, and even going so far as claiming black heritage. The documentary showed me the same socially confused and insecure fraud as I had already seen in my one time friend. I can accept embracing a culture that isn't your own because its lifestyle and symbology appeal to your needs and tastes, and I personally find the entire concept of "cultural appropriation" to be an absurd hoax grounded in a fundamental misunderstanding of how culture works, but the idea of "bi-riacial" identity not only works as a laughably poor excuse for this woman's obvious black-faced life, but it belies the reality of why racism is scientifically, and more importantly morally, false.


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