Video Duration 48 minutes 30 seconds
From: Witness

Becoming Black: A filmmaker’s quest for truth about her past

Filmmaker Ines Johnson-Spain shares her experience of growing up Black with white parents in East Germany in the 1960s.

Born with dark skin to white parents in East Berlin in the 1960s, filmmaker Ines Johnson-Spain had a childhood shrouded in secrecy.

Ines was told as a child that her skin colour was a coincidence and of no importance. But she discovered later that her biological father was one of the African students invited by the East German government during the Cold War to study at an East German college.

To better understand her past, she travels between Togo, Benin and Germany and untangles the astonishing strategies of denial that her parents and those around her came up with.