In 2009, Iranian Canadian journalist Maziar Bahari was covering the volatile elections in Tehran. One of the few reporters living there with access to U.S. media, he also appeared on THE DAILY SHOW WITH JON STEWART, and in a taped interview made a few satiric jibes at the Iranian election process. However, Tehran authorities seeing the broadcast didn’t get the joke and this bit of comedy came back to haunt Bahari when he was rousted from his family home and thrown in to prison. In a remarkable stroke, Stewart himself took up Bahari’s story, crafting ROSEWATER as a chronicle of journalism in conflict with political power. Bahari’s interrogator wears a strong rosewater scent that immediately reminds him of his childhood and isolated in prison he survives via the recollections it prompts. Stewart takes a sincere approach in presenting Bahari’s story, there are glimpses of his trademark wit, but it is more a tale of emotion and with Gael García Bernal as Bahari he has nurtured a performance and created a protagonist that audiences and already critics have embraced as one of the year’s best.
Starring Gael García Bernal, Shohreh Aghdashloo, Golshifteh Farahani
Director Jon Stewart