37th IWFF kicks off with the German première of BECOMING BLACK

Becoming Black (DE 2019, Dir: Ines Johnson-Spain)

The 37th Dortmund | Cologne IWFF takes place in Cologne from 24 to 29 March. At the opening ceremony to be held at the Odeon cinema, the Festival presents the German première of the documentary Becoming Black, addressing a previously neglected perspective of German history. Director Ines Johnson-Spain reconstructs her own family history: How can a person of colour be the child of white parents? Growing up in the 1960s in an atmosphere of tight-lipped silence, she struggles to find her own identity. Then – after German reunification – she undertakes her first journey to Togo to visit the extended family of her biological father. In an intimate and poignant self-portrait, a clever and hitherto unwritten German story unfolds.

Ines Johnson-Spain received the Gerd Ruge Incentive Scholarship of the Film- und Medienstiftung NRW in 2017 to develop her film project. The film celebrated its international debut in November 2019 at idfa International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam.

Becoming Black perfectly embodies the Festival's philosophy which encourages dialogue and regards diversity and empowerment as key aspects of its work. The film is also a central element of this year's Festival Focus After Reunification 1990|2020, which examines East German film-making experiences and showcases films by three generations of women – a multi-voiced review that offers scope for breaks, new beginnings and marginalised perspectives. It will feature work from the Amber Collective, Tina Bara, Grit Lemke, Annekatrin Hendel, Therese Koppe, Tamara Trampe, Petra Tschörtner, among others. 

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