Becoming Black screening with Ines Johnson-Spain

When and Where

Thursday, November 24, 2022 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm
Innis Town Hall
Innis College
2 Sussex Avenue, Toronto, ON M5S 1J5


Ines Johnson-Spain
Angelica Fenner
Azadeh Sharifi


Please join us for a public film screening of the thought-provoking German autobiographical documentary, Becoming Black with the Berlin-based director Ines Johnson-Spain in attendance. The screening will be followed by a Q & A with the filmmaker moderated by University of Toronto Professors Angelica Fenner and Azadeh Sharifi. 

Becoming Black offers a highly personal reflection on themes such as identity, social norms and family ties. Imagine that your parents and brother are white, and you are told that your own darker skin colour is purely coincidental. This happened to a girl on the outskirts of East Berlin in the 1960s. Years before, a group of young African men came to the East German provinces as students. A young woman, Sigrid, married to Armin, falls in love with Lucien from Togo and carries his child, which she raises with Armin. That child is filmmaker Ines Johnson-Spain. Meeting her stepfather Armin and others from her youth, she now tracks the astonishing disavowals of her parents and their community. Both intimate portrayal and critical exploration, her film brings together painful and confusing childhood memories with matter-of-fact accounts and meetings with her extended Togolese family.

Free admission. Open to the public, Masking appreciated. 



The Department of Germanic Languages & Literatures, Cinema Studies Institute, The German Academic Exchange Service