Prize of the Ecumenical Jury, Mannheim-Heidelberg 2019

In the city’s metabolism, work in the essential sewer system provides a basic lively hood for Afghani Azim and his family in Iran. Azim’s capacity to bear suffering seems boundless. What finally breaks his strength and resolve, as well as his set of values, is the collapse of his mother’s metabolism, a life-threatening failure that can only be treated with a kidney transplant by donation.  Traditions and laws, conscience and the need to survive, love of one’s mother, feeding the family, living without rights but with a sense of duty, flight, patriarchal decision making, nationalism and religion collide with Iranian theocracy. The right to pursue life and survival is nonetheless sacrosanct. The film moves us because Azim is amongst us, in our society, within each of us. How do you live with death, when does life end, how far are you willing to go for what and who is holy to you? The path to the end of life can only be taken, when we hold on to one another in love and let each other go in love.