Events | Becoming Black - Filmvorführung und Diskussion

Goethe-Institut Los Angeles | 25. Februar 2023 | 4:00 – 7:00 (MEZ)

Am 24. Februar um 19:00 (PT) wird der autobiografische Film BECOMING BLACK mit anschließender Diskussion mit der Filmemacherin und 2023 Villa Aurora Stipendiatin Ines Johnson-Spain, 2023 Thomas Mann Fellow Alice Hasters und Nora Bernard, Mitarbeiterin des Global Media Makers Program bei Film Independent, vorgeführt.

*Diese Veranstaltung findet in englischer Sprache statt*

About the Documentary BECOMING BLACK

A white couple in the GDR of the 1960s explains to their Black daughter that her skin color is pure coincidence and has no meaning. This is also what the girl likes to believe until, by chance, she discovers the truth at the age of 12.

The child is filmmaker Ines Johnson-Spain.

Long after meeting her biological father's family in Togo, she now, in the role of protagonist and author, reconstructs her family history in the film BECOMING BLACK.

In emotional and open conversations with her stepfather, the atmosphere of silence and repression gets impressively palpable. Slowly it becomes clear how the social environment allowed such a serious denial of facts. The private is political. While exploring her own identity, Ines Johnson-Spain unveils the big taboo that overshadowed her whole childhood, revealing the structural racism in the GDR. In connection with the touching meeting with her late-found Togolese family, the film reflects on identity, family concepts, and social norms. From the 1960s in East Berlin to the present, previously unwritten German history unfolds in this intimate and touching self-portrait.

Germany, 2019, 91 Minutes, digital projection. In German/French with English subtitles. Writer-Director: Ines Johnson-Spain, Director of Photography: Sebastian Winkels, Anne Misselwitz, Editor: Yana Höhnerbach, Executive Producers: Katrin Sandmann, Stefan Matthieu, Producer: Anahita Nazemi.
Production Company: Kobalt Documentary in co-production with Zweites Deutsches Fernsehen (ZDF) (Das kleine Fernsehspiel).



Nora Bernard is an Associate for the Global Media Makers program. Previously she has worked in several operations roles for SXSW and the Telluride, Sundance and New York Film Festivals. Currently, she is an Associate Programmer for the Tribeca Festival in the US Narrative Competition category and Telluride Mountainfilm, a documentary festival that specializes in presenting films that focus on activism, environmental preservation, adventure sports, and cultural exchanges. She also has served on committees for Fantastic Fest, UrbanWorld, IndieMemphis, and the Starz #TakeTheLead Writers’ Intensive.


Alice Hasters is a journalist, author, and podcaster. She studied at the German School of Journalism in Munich and after graduating worked for the »Tagesschau« and Rundfunk Berlin-Brandenburg, among others. Since 2016, Hasters has been producing the podcast »Feuer & Brot« (tr: Fire & Bread) about politics and pop culture together with Maximiliane Häcke. In her publications, she deals with the topics of Afro-German identity, racism, and intersectionality. Hasters was named culture journalist of the year in 2020 by medium magazine. She is the author of Was weiße Menschen nicht über Rassismus hören wollen, published by Hanser Verlag, and is currently a 2023 Fellow at the Thomas Mann House Los Angeles.

Ines Johnson-Spain, born and raised in the GDR (*1962), studied religious studies at the Free University of Berlin and liberal arts and film history as a guest at the Berlin University of the Arts. She works as a director and screenwriter. She is particularly interested in self-concepts in the field of tension between the individual and society. In the current film BECOMING BLACK she autobiographically dealt with her German/Togolese origin. She is currently a fellow at Villa Aurora.



Goethe-Institut Los Angeles Project Space

1901 W. 7th St. Suite AB,

Los Angeles, CA 90057

Attendance to this event is free and open to the public.


Diese Veranstaltung findet in Zusammenarbeit mit unserer Partnerorganisation Villa Aurora und dem Goethe-Institut Los Angeles statt.