An attorney (Kevin Costner) struggling to raise his biracial granddaughter after the deaths of his wife and daughter becomes embroiled in a custody battle with the child’s paternal grandmother (Academy Award winner Octavia Spencer).
Black and White
Black and White examines the subject of race with rare candour, intelligence, and an open heart. Eschewing sensationalism in favour of psychological honesty, it locates its racially charged tensions not in the realms of crime or politics but rather within a single family. And with a child's welfare at the core of its conflict, the stakes couldn't be higher.
Having already mourned the death of his daughter, New Orleans attorney Elliot Anderson (Academy Award-winner Kevin Costner) is dealt a staggering blow when his beloved wife is killed in a car crash. Elliot had been raising his biracial granddaughter Eloise (Jillian Estell) with his wife, and now, in the midst of his terrible grief, he's blindsided with a custody suit: Eloise's African-American grandmother, Rowena (Academy Award-winner Octavia Spencer), is demanding that Eloise be placed in the care of her father, a reckless drug addict whom Elliot still holds partly responsible for his daughter's demise.
Written and directed by Mike Binder (Reign Over Me, The Upside of Anger), Black and White brings great sensitivity and wisdom to a volatile scenario. The fierce custody battle causes long-buried presumptions and prejudices to come bursting to the surface, but these eruptions help to open conversation, not bring it to a halt. Though feelings of sorrow and rage compete for dominance, love above all is what's needed if Eloise's future is to be secured.
Binder's film explores what continues to be a great taboo in American life, and in doing so proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that matters of race are anything but black and white.