Film Screening German Cinema Now! Ines Johnson-Spain's „Becoming Black“

Film Still “Becoming Black” © Rushlake Media

Wed, 11/25/2020

5:00 PM - 11:00 PM


The monthly Goethe Pop Up Film Series supports artistic works that amplify the plurality of voices and experiences to inspire public dialogue.  

The film screenings take place in partnership with  Northwest Film Forum Seattle.

This month’s screening will take place online. Please register in advance and pay what you can. All ticket purchases support Northwest Film Forum.


About the film:
Germany | 2019 | 91 minutes

Becoming Black tells the true story of a dark-skinned child living in East-Germany that has been told by its white parents that her skin color is a mere coincidence and that it is of no importance. Until one day as a teenager, the daughter accidentally finds out the truth. That daughter is filmmaker Ines Johnson-Spain.

In an intimate portrayal but also critical exploration, the filmmaker brings together painful and confusing childhood memories with matter-of-fact accounts that testify a culture of rejection and tight-lipped denial. Together with the movingly warm encounters with her Togolese family, Becoming Black develops into a reflection on themes such as identity, social norms, and family ties - seen from a very personal perspective.

About the filmmaker:

Ines Johnson-Spain is an independent Togolese/East-German filmmaker based in Berlin.

She worked for many years as scenic painter and set designer for international film productions. Since 2002, she has been developing and realizing her own documentary film projects, many of which focus on intimate profiles that explore themes of identity and belonging. More recently, she directed the film L‘Esprit de Madjid, about a young gay man from Togo who is a follower of Voodoo and defines his identity through his relationship to the spirits.

Ines Johnson-Spain has been awarded with different grants and was several times selected for the Berlin State Council on the Video Artist Grant.

Her films have been screened at prestigious international film festivals and in many galleries and exhibitions around the world.

(Text courtesy of WWM.)