Born in Evin

Born in Evin

Maryam Zaree


Director and actress Maryam Zaree embarks on a quest to find out the violent circumstances surrounding her own birth in Evin, one of the most notorious political prisons in Iran. It is forty years since the monarchy of the Shah of Iran was toppled. On seizing power, Ayatollah Khomeini, the new religious leader, had tens of thousands of political opponents arrested, persecuted and murdered – including the film-maker’s parents. After managing to flee to Germany, the family never talked about this terrible time in any detail. In her début film, Maryam Zaree, now a successful actress and writer, tackles the decades of family silence and explores her own questions about the circumstances of her birth. How has the trauma inflicted through persecution and violence infiltrated the bodies and souls of both the survivors and their children? How do the victims cope personally with the same perpetrators remaining unpunished and still in power to this day? What does it mean, politically, to face the silence within the family? She meets other survivors, talks to experts and looks for other children born in the same prison at the same time as her. An exciting quest that highlights how the private is political and the political is private. And shows how important collective memory is in order to counteract collective suppression.
The film premiered at the Berlinale 2019, winning the Compass-Perspektive-Award. (SH)

Film Series New Archives

Preise für ›Born in Evin‹
Kompass-Perspektive-Preis, Berlinale 2019

Director / Script

Maryam Zaree


Siri Klug


Dieter Pichler


Michel Klöfkorn, Tom Schön


Alex und Ira Tondowski


Real Fiction Filmverleih

Maryam Zaree

Maryam Zaree was born in 1983 in Tehran. When she was two, her mother fled with her to Germany to escape political persecution. She grew up in Frankfurt, later studying acting at the Film University Babelsberg Konrad Wolf. In Burhan Qurbani’s Shahada, which screened at the 2010 Berlinale Competition she played the lead role. Since then, she has appeared in numerous cinema and TV films. In 2018, she received a Grimme Award for her performance in the series 4 Blocks. She won the Best Writer award at the Heidelberger Stückemarkt theatre festival for her play Kluge Gefühle. Born in Evin is her debut feature film.

Filme von Maryam Zaree
Born in Evin 2019 | You’re No Good 2009 | Wessen Straßen sind die Straßen, wessen Welt ist die Welt 2008