“Born in Evin”: workup of a trauma


As the Ayatollah Khomeini in 1979 in Iran to Power, he pursues his opponent with hardness. Maryam Zaree was born in a prison for political prisoners. With her Film “Born in Evin” breaks the Silence.

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Born in a prison in Iran

One day it will slip out of her aunt’s simple: Maryam Zaree has not seen in a normal hospital in the light of the world; she was born in 1983 in captivity. The aunt says she was horrified when she realized that the girl knew this. She thought that the parents had declared the twelve-year-old for a long time, that you came in Evin, one of the most notorious prisons for political prisoners in Iran, to the world. But this was not the case. And even after this time there is no clear discussions or to a common reappraisal of the family history.

As a Baby behind bars

Look at the outer wall of the Evin prison in Iran

The story begins when Zarees parents meet in Iran. Listen to John Lennon, read Karl Marx and are against the Shah and the monarchy, in which they are grown. However, with the Islamic Revolution in 1979, a dictator is replaced by the next and you will be declared enemies of the new Mullah regime. In 1983, the two are arrested – and also Maryam Zaree as a Baby in the belly of your mother.

Here is the big black hole, to stopper the the young woman in her documentary debut “Born in Evin” meticulously tried. Because in the family was spoken to on the subject of never. Not as mother and daughter in the prison were allowed to leave Germany and fled. And even when the father after seven years in which he awaited the death penalty, came free. He had survived the massacre of political prisoners in 1988 and thousands of people were executed. The Silence stopped, as Zarees mother – now a PhD psychologist and a local politician – to the mayor of your city of Frankfurt ran and Zaree itself in Germany and Europe as a successful actress. And it goes on even after the Zaree of their mother, presented in the summer holidays a Trailer to a Film: the attempt of a cinematic work-up.

Koransuren as torture

That carries you deep into some of the horrors of the infamous torture prison, said Zaree on a bus ride through Morocco: Suddenly, they no longer keeps the music playing on the Bus. She starts to sweat, in a panic, thinks to lose his mind and yells at finally, the driver, the music off. Later she told her father of the panic attack, which she could not explain. He told her that prisoners in Evin with the endless loop of Koransuren, which were also in the Bus, were acoustically tortured. An experience, which she made as a toddler, had done it, in your Inner dig.

Maryam Zaree speaks at an international conference in Florence with the exiled women from Iran

In your movie Zaree looking for other children of political prisoners, to learn how to cope with the experienced Trauma and the parents. In the process, she meets, among other things, the author of Sahar Delíjaní, who was born as a child of political activists in Tehran’s Evin prison, and the book “children of the jacaranda tree” this experience has written.

A new Generation

Mayam Zaree is also true of the Iranian-French anthropologist Chowra Makaremi. She was eight years old when her mother was executed. Your grandfather has written, what was done to the mother: The spine was broken, she had burns on multiple body, your intimate zone had been scalded with boiling water, they had hung on the feet, and wires for electric shocks to her Breasts bound.

In 1992, Chowra Makaremi was these lines of your grandfather in front of the so-called Iran Tribunal in The Hague, a symbolic people’s court for the investigation of the state-ordered violence in Iran in the 1980s.

In the conversation, the two women discover that they have more in common than you think: As the children of oppressed the opposition abroad have been made to successful and responsible adults – almost as a proof for the correctness of the Ideals of their parents. And you can see how the two of you failed the voice. To true this analysis is.

Unsparing Close

Zaree does not strain in the Film in General. The camera is, if your father brings as a Manifestation of the displacement of a towel from the bed box, which he kept for over 30 years: It dates back to the Evin prison. His previous owners were two of his fellow inmates. Both were 29 years old when they were hanged. Then it passed into his possession.

Painfully long the scenes are, in part, to see in which Zaree exposed to the despair of her greatest Fears, her mother confronted finally with your questions to the black hole of family history.

Maryam Zaree with her mother

€Born in Evin is not a journey of self-discovery, which deals exclusively with a family. First she wouldn’t even happen at all in the Film, says Zaree in the DW-Interview: “It was a narrow ridge: I have the skills of an actress, but would like to show something very Realistic and Authentic. But then I realized that I would not deny me in the end even if I’m part of the movie. If I want to make a Film about displacement, wanting to break the structures and dynamics of displacement, then I can’t run the Fort, and so do, as that would have nothing to do with me.”

Iran denied the workup

The Film shows what happens when an institutional workup of a national trauma is absent. The Regime in Iran wants nothing to do with a reappraisal of the murders. Until today, you don’t know how many people were executed in the 1980s. In the presidential election of 2017 competed with Ebrahim Raisi, a candidate, the part of the Commission that has decided in the case of the massacres of 1988 relating to the executions.

“€Born in Evin” raises the question of which Narratives the children can create a Generation in exile, as they positioned themselves, and continue the story – and creates also a bow to the fates of today’s Refugee.

The work goes on

For Zaree, it is already the third part of the artistic engagement with this theme: it has been an award-winning theatre piece on the theme of homelessness and displacement, language, and in an autobiographical project of Berlin’s Gorki theater involved. For her debut film, she has invested around four years. However, not in full-time. At this year’s Berlinale, in the case of the “Born in Evin” in the section perspective German cinema Premiere, she was involved in three productions.

Now you want to treat yourself to a little bit of room to breathe. However, she has for the summer is an invitation for the International Playwrights’ programme at the Royal Court Theatre in London, and a few acting Engagements. As successful and responsible adults so plan. As she points out, must you laugh.