TIFF Capsule Review: White Lie (Lewis & Thomas, 2019)

There are far more questions than answers when you walk away from White Lie, the latest from writer-directors Yonah Lewis and Calvin Thomas. That’s because the titular white lie told by Katie Arneson (a fabulous Kacey Rohl) is not white at all—in fact, she’s faking cancer and running sham fundraisers for profit, and will go to great lengths to keep up the ruse. The reasons for Katie’s pathological deceitfulness are only hinted at, making the character and her motivations an impenetrable mystery at times, but that also provides the story with its most compelling edges. Because we don’t know the limits of what she’s capable of, every twist and turn finds a fresh way to keep us gripped in the suspense of Katie’s downward spiral into abject desperation.

Crisply photographed and tautly conveyed, White Lie is another strong example of Canadian filmmaking at its very finest.


White Lie debuted at TIFF in the Contemporary World Cinema programme on September 7, 2019.