The Black Cinema Is… “Toxi”


By the early 1950s, the first wave of children of African-American occupation soldiers and white German women were ready to go to school in a nation that only recently had been dedicated to racialized genocide. As West Germany struggled to redefine itself as a modern nation, these five hundred children were the subject of fierce debate about citizenship, racism, and ultimately the definition of Germany. That debate is the subject of Robert Stemmle’s ripped-from-the-headlines melodrama, in which Toxi is one of those children hoping to be adopted by a well-to-do German family whose internal disagreements threaten to destroy the family.
Film scholar Sergio Mims, programmer of Chicago’s Black Harvest Film Festival and writer of Indiewire’s Shadow and Act blog, will introduce the film and then lead an informal discussion of it. Seating is limited, so we ask that you RSVP to guarantee a seat.

Toxi (1952, West Germany, 89 min., DVD projection)

Black Cinema House
6901 S. Dorchester Ave.