where we used to swim


Lake Urmia in Northern Iran was once the largest lake in the Middle East. But human influence set its course, and brought upon a devastating drought that the lake could not withstand. Today, just 5% of the original lake remains. The majority of the land is now barren and covered by salt. This cinematic essay observes the places of present and past, and weaves a new narration with fragments of identity and memory.


62. DOK Leipzig, Germany, 2019


The dried tears of Lake Urmia in northern Iran are for sale – salt in plastic bags at the roadside. Once the biggest lake in the Middle East, only a fraction of it is left today. This is its elegy, presenting both its former splendour and its state today. Wavering between factuality and melancholy, the film finally opts for a pessimistic view of society. The dying lake becomes a symbol.
-Carolin Weidner


a Daniel Asadi Faezi Production
producer, director, dop | Daniel Asadi Faezi
assistant director | Mehrdad Dehghani, Bani Moradi
editor | Narges Kalhor
narrator | Dariush Gigloo
sounddesign | Andrew Mottl
color grading | Nicholas Coleman
2019 | Germany | 8 minutes | Documentary | Azerbaijani with english subtitles