Film screening

German Movie Nights: Born in Evin

Film still: Born in Evin


Goethe-Institut New York

30 Irving Place
New York, NY 10003


Language: German with English subtitles
Price: Free admission
+1 212 4398700 Registration is required for this event

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The German Film Office is pleased to present a special in-person screening of Maryam Zaree’s acclaimed documentary Born in Evin as its first German Movie Night of 2024. The screening will be followed by a conversation with the filmmaker and New York-based Iranian author Sahar Delijani, moderated by Justine Barda. Co-presented with Villa Aurora, Los Angeles.
Register In her directorial debut, German-Iranian actress Maryam Zaree confronts the circumstances of her birth inside Tehran’s notorious Evin Prison. Zaree’s parents were political dissidents who were imprisoned short after Ayatollah Khomeini came to power in 1979. They later found political asylum in Germany but never shared the full story of their incarceration with their daughter. To fill the gaps Zaree turns to her parents’ fellow Evin survivors, consults experts, and tracks down other Evin babies like herself. In the process, she makes a film about the generational consequences of persecution and violence, and what happens when the perpetrators remain in power and the victims internalize their stories. 

“On this vulnerable, lyrical journey [Zaree] considers the impact of trauma on the bodies and souls of survivors and their children, leading her to question how her generation can relate to their own history while also respecting the people they love as they prefer to heal in silence.” (Human Rights Watch Film Festival)

Born in Evin won a German Film Award for Best Documentary in 2020 and the Compass Perspektive Award at the 2019 Berlin International Film Festival, among others.
Born in Evin
Dir. Maryam Zaree
Germany, 2019
100 minutes

Maryam Zaree is an actress, writer, and filmmaker. She was born in 1983 in the Evin political prison in Tehran. When she was two, her mother fled with her to Frankfurt am Main. She has appeared in many cinema and television films, including Christian Petzold’s Transit, the series 4 Blocks, and System Crasher by Nora Fingscheidt. The documentary Born in Evin, her first feature film, premiered at the 2019 Berlinale and screened in over 40 countries. Together with Carolin Emcke and Lena Gorelik, Zaree developed the reading tour “‘Is That a Human Being?’ Against Forgetting” with texts by Shoah survivors.  

Sahar Delijani is the author of Children of the Jacaranda Tree, an autobiographical novel, which has been translated into 30 languages and published in more than 75 countries. Born in Tehran’s Evin Prison in 1983, she grew up in California and lived for many years in Turin, Italy. Her writings have appeared in Kweli Journal, The Bellevue Review, Slice Magazine, BBC Persian, Zeit Online, DW Persian, Femina Middle East, Corriere della Sera, and more. She currently lives in New York City and is working on her second novel.

Justine Barda is the founder and CEO of Telescope Film. She is a senior programmer at the Seattle International Film Festival and has also consulted for Sundance, tiff, and the Dubai International Film Festival. She taught in the Film Studies Program at Seattle University for a decade. With the German Film Office, she co-hosts the monthly KINO! Film Salon.