Born in Evin

  • Maryam Zaree
  • Germany, Austria
  • 2019
  • 98 min
  • Dutch Premiere
  • Best of Fests, Focus: It Still Hurts

The German actress Maryam Zaree is regularly cast as a refugee from the Middle East. She was born in Iran, but her family fled the country when she was just a small child. Now 30, she wants to know more about her early life. She knows she was born in prison and her parents were in danger during the regime of Ayatollah Khomeini, but for the rest, her family history is shrouded in silence.

When Zaree questions her parents and relatives, her probing often meets with critical questions in return: why does she have to open old wounds, and what does she expect to gain from learning the truth? With her camera constantly at the ready, she visits an international conference with fellow Iranians, goes into therapy and looks for people of her generation who have similar stories.

The result is a personal look at a traumatic national history that generally remains unspoken. Born in Evin also touches on themes such as working through trauma and the psychological suffering of second-generation survivors.


  • 98 min
  • color
  • DCP
  • Spoken languages: German, English, French, Farsi
  • Subtitles in: English
Maryam Zaree
Alex Tondowski for Tondowski Films, Ira Tondowski for Tondowski Films
Golden Girls Filmproduktion
Siri Klug
Dieter Pichler

IDFA history

Dutch Premiere
Best of Fests
Focus: It Still Hurts

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IDFA history

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