Berlin: Documentary 'Born in Evin' Wins German Cinema Prize

Tondowski Films
'Born in Evin'

Actress-turned-director Maryam Zaree excavates her own past, born the child of political dissidents into Iran's most notorious political prison.

Born in Evin, a documentary on the personal and political fallout from the Iranian revolution, filtered through one woman's search for her past, has won the prize for best film in the 2019 Berlin International Film Festival's Perspectives on German Cinema sidebar.

In the film, Berlin-based actress Maryam Zaree (4 Blocks) sets out to discover the circumstances of her birth in Evin, Iran’s notorious prisons for dissidents, where her parents were inmates together. Forty years after the Islamic revolution and decades after her family fled to Germany in exile, Zaree finds there is still a veil of silence over the period.

The documentary is part personal journey, part examination of how trauma is processed within a society and how it can be passed down from the first generation of victims to their children.