IDFA: Born in Evin

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.

Extended Q&A by De Balie editor Parwin Mirrahimy with Iranian human rights advocate Shadi Sadr on political imprisonment and human rights violations in Iran. What is the current, ánd past, situation of political prisoners in Iran?  What does Sadr’s organization Justice for Iran do for political prisoners and their families? How can the international community exert pressure on the Iranian regime and its policies? The evening will be introduced by storyteller Sahand Sahebdivani.

Part of De Balie x IDFA: Doc Talks