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In 2009, Iranian Canadian journalist Maziar Bahari was covering Iran's volatile elections for Newsweek. One of the few reporters living in the country with access to US media, he made an appearance on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, in a taped interview with comedian Jason Jones. The interview was intended as satire, but if the Tehran authorities got the joke they didn't like it - and it would quickly came back to haunt Bahari when he was rousted from his family home and thrown into prison. Making his directorial debut, Jon Stewart tells the tale of Bahari's months-long imprisonment and interrogation in this powerful and affecting docudrama featuring a potent and performance by Gael García Bernal recounting Bahari's efforts to maintain his hope and his sanity in the face of isolation and persecution-through memories of his family, recollections of the music he loves, and thoughts of his wife and unborn child.
You are watching: Rosewater
Also starring Gael García Bernal
Also starring Shohreh Aghdashloo
Also starring Jason Jones
Imagine a rousing "Daily Show" episode without the jokes.
Stewart and cinematographer Bobby Bukowski cover it all in a straightforward, watchable way, the performances are all sincere and solid and the situation is easy to respond to emotionally.
A solid, powerfully acted political drama about human endurance in the face of ideological oppression.
"Rosewater" marks the debut of a director whose brains and guts are the equal or the better of his eye and heart ...
The film goes slightly beyond rigorous earnestness and settles into a kind of stubborn atonement.
Rosewater, starring the geeky-charismatic Gael Garc?a Bernal as Bahari, is a gripping drama, smartly calibrated for Western audiences who still need an education in the bright, progressive, fight-back impulses in Iranian culture.
In outline, Rosewater sounds earnest, one-note, relentless - something you d watch out of a sense of duty. But it turns out to be a sly, layered work, charged with dark wit along with horror.
Rosewater is an earnest picture, but it s also got some juice - there s vitality and feeling in it, the secret ingredients so often missing from even the most well-intentioned first features.
The film settles into the kind of sobriety you ve seen too often ...
Jon Stewart s filmmaking debut "Rosewater" has much in common with "The Daily Show" - it s blaringly obvious, it s naive, it plays to the cheap seats and it s enamored with cheap jokes.