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Film Screening with Director in Attendance: Becoming Black

November 4 @ 5:30 pm - 7:30 pm

becoming black film poster
Film Screening with Director in Attendance: “Becoming Black”(2019)

As the next segment of the Black German Heritage & Research Association’s ongoing All Black Lives Matter event series, and in cooperation with the Waterloo Centre for German Studies, The University of Toronto, and Africana Studies at Rutgers University-Camden, the Black German Heritage and Research Association (BGHRA) is pleased to invite you to a film screening of Ines Johnson-Spain’s autobiographical documentary “Becoming Black”(2019).

SYNOPSIS: Becoming Black (dir. Ines Johnson-Spain, 2019, 91 min.):

In the 1960s, the East German Sigrid falls in love with Lucien from Togo, one of several African students studying at a trade school on the outskirts of East Berlin. She becomes pregnant, but is already married to Armin. Sigrid and Armin raise their daughter as their own, withholding from her knowledge of her African paternal heritage. That child grows up to become the filmmaker Ines Johnson-Spain. In filmed encounters with her aging stepfather Armin and others from her youth, Johnson-Spain tracks the strategies of denial developed by her parents and the surrounding community. Her intimate but also critical exploration comprising both painful and confusing childhood memories and matter-of-fact accounts testifies to a culture of repression. When blended with movingly warm encounters with her Togolese family, Becoming Black becomes a thought-provoking reflection on identity, social norms and family ties.

About Ines Johnson-Spain

Ines Johnson-Spain is an independent German/Togolese filmmaker based in Berlin. She studied Religion at the Freie Universität Berlin (FU) and Fine Arts and Painting at University of Arts Berlin. She teaches set painting at Babelsberg Film University and has worked as a scenic painter and in other design capacities for art departments of numerous international film productions, such as Peter Greenaway’s The Tulse Luper Suitcases, Anders Thomas Jensen’s Men and Chicken, Lana and Lilly Wachowski’s Sense8, Andrej Swjaginzew’s The Banishment.

Register for the “Becoming Black” film screening

The link to view the film will be posted on Eventbrite for registrants to stream from November 15-18, 2021. Register here for free.


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Black German Heritage & Research Association