Photo: © Rushlake Media
German Cinema Now! Ines Johnson-Spain's BECOMING BLACK
Goethe Pop Up Seattle's monthly GERMAN CINEMA NOW! film series supports artistic works that amplify the plurality of voices and experiences to inspire public dialogue. November's screening takes place online; please register in advance. All proceeds from tickets ($0-25) benefit Northwest Film Forum. The film is only available between 5-11pm PDT on 11/25 to viewers in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico.
About the film: BECOMING BLACK Germany | 2019 | 91 minutes | German/French with English subtitles
The film tells the true story of a dark-skinned child living in East-Germany, told by her white parents that her skin color is a mere coincidence of no importance. This child was filmmaker Ines Johnson-Spain, who accidentally finds out the truth as a teenager. In an intimate portrayal that's also a 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.
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