Rosewater – Jon Stewart, Director

This is the first feature film directed by Jon Stewart who is better known as the host of The Daily Show and one of our more brilliant satirists. Rosewater is the dramatization of the recent imprisonment and torture of Iranian/Canadian journalist, Maziar Bahari. Bahari went to Iran as a journalist for Newsweek magazine and while there was arrested on the charge of being a spy. The connection to Jon Stewart was through the fact that The Daily Show did a segment on Iranian politics during the election of 2009. As part of that they did a comic interview with Bahari in which they asked him why he was spying in Iran. A clip of the interview was among the pieces of evidence the regime used to justify imprisoning Bahari. While farcical now it led to 6 months of torture for the journalist. The film is very powerful at portraying how isolation and fear can be used to torture and breakdown a victim. It is also however a story full of hope and ultimately a happy ending for Bahari. Stewart took several months off his TV show to direct this film in Jordan last summer and the result may result in an new career for Stewart who also wrote the script. The movie is highly recommended.

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