A white couple living in Berlin in the German Democratic Republic (GDR) in the 1960s tell their Black daughter that her skin colour is pure coincidence and is of no significance. This is also what the girl prefers to believe, until she accidentally discovers the truth as a teenager.

Now in the role of film-maker and protagonist, Ines Johnson-Spain reconstructs her family history in the film Becoming Black. While exploring the taboo that overshadowed her whole childhood, the film-maker reveals structural racism in the GDR.

Together with the moving encounters with family members Johnson-Spain has traced in Togo, Becoming Black develops into a deeply personal reflection on questions of affiliation, social norms, and concepts of family.