Rosewater is based on The New York Times best-selling memoir "Then They Came for Me: A Family's Story of Love, Captivity, and Survival," written by Maziar Bahari. The film marks the directorial debut of "The Daily Show" host Jon Stewart, and stars Gael García Bernal. Rosewater follows the Tehran-born Bahari, a broadcast journalist with Canadian citizenship. In June 2009, Bahari returned to Iran to interview Mir-Hossein Mousavi, who was the prime challenger to president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. As Mousavi's supporters rose up to protest Ahmadinejad's victory declaration hours before the polls closed, Bahari endured personal risk by sending footage of the street riots to the BBC. Bahari was arrested by police, led by a man identifying himself only as "Rosewater," who tortured and interrogated him over the next 118 days. With Bahari's wife leading an international campaign to have her husband freed, and Western media outlets keeping the story alive, Iranian authorities released Bahari on $300,000 bail and the promise he would act as a spy for the government.
Director: Jon Stewart
Starring: Gael García Bernal, Dimitri Leonidas, Haluk Bilginer, Kim Bodnia and Shohreh Aghdashloo
What the critics are saying:
Timely, solidly acted, and unabashedly earnest, Rosewater serves as an impressive calling card for first-time director Jon Stewart
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.
Rosewater, starring the geeky-charismatic Gael García 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.
Like The Daily Show, Rosewater makes uncomfortable political realities into wry but uproarious jokes.
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