Most of us will know Jon Stewart as host of The Daily Show, two-time host of the Oscars and, more generally, America’s satirist in chief. The subject matter of his first feature film is, therefore, somewhat alarming. Many have waited with eager anticipation at the Toronto International Film Festival, wondering what this comic mastermind could bring to a tale of brutal state sponsored torture and interrogation – the critics haven’t been disappointed.
New film about Iranian Journalist Maziar Bahari: John Stewart, Rosewater
Rosewater is based on the memoir Then They Came for Me by London-based Iranian journalist Maziar Bahari, who ended up on the wrong side of Iran’s oppressive theocracy. Stewart’s link to the story is more than just personal interest, for it was a spoof interview Bahari gave on The Daily Show (in which the show’s Jason Jones pretended to be a spy) that led to his arrest and subsequent interrogation.
Actor Gael Garcia Bernal
Stewart manages to capture both the absurdity of how a spoof interview could provoke such paranoia in a totalitarian state, whilst also illustrating the horror of how grave these consequences can be. Bahari is played by actor Gael Garcia Bernal (Y Tu Mama Tambien, Even The Rain) and at the crux of the film is the journalist’s relationship with his chief interrogator played by actor Kim Bodnia (most famous for his performance in the original Pusher). With Bahari blindfolded throughout, the interrogator’s only distinguishing feature is that he smells of rosewater.
Rosewater, film review
Despite its chilling content, Jon Stewart still manages to bring his comic touch to the movie, exposing the utter farce of Iran’s attempts at ‘moral policing’. In one scene Maziar Bahari decides to confess to his guilt of being a morally depraved westerner, claiming to be a massage addict who travels the world to seek the ultimate massage climax. Fittingly, Jon Stewart has since been accused by Iran’s State TV of being a CIA operative, his film, it is claimed, is funded by Zionists. Bahari himself faces a 13-year sentence if he ever returns to Iran.
Maziar Bahari, Rosewater – UK Release date:
Rosewater UK release date: 8 May
Cinemas showing Rosewater in London:
CENTRAL: Cinemas showing Rosewater in Central London: Curzon Bloomsbury
The new Curzon Bloomsbury (formerly the Renoir) has just opened and houses the new Bertha DocHouse, the first cinema screen in the UK dedicated to documentary. With an eclectic schedule of master-classes, seasons and festivals to complement screenings of cutting-edge contemporary docs, the DocHouse hopes to become an international centre for documentaries as well a as a hangout for documentary aficionados.
Click here for other suggestions of what’s on at the Curzon Bloomsbury this weekend
EAST: Cinemas showing Rosewater in East London: Genesis Cinema
Stepney Green’s quirky arthouse cinema Genesis is home to both mainstream blockbusters and indie hits. First built on in 1848 it's been a pub, a music hall and a theatre, which played host to such greats as Charlie Chaplin and Laurel & Hardy. Renovated to include the new 'Studio 5' boutique, it invites luxury customers as well as being a great fit for locals.
Click here for other suggestions of what’s on at the Genesis this weekend
If none of our suggestions take your fancy, check out the complete cinema listings for Rosewater in London: Rosewater film times, London
|Where||Various Locations | MAP|
|Nearest tube||Leicester Square (underground)|
08 May 15 – 08 Jul 15, 12:00 PM – 12:00 AM
|Price||£ determined by cinema|
|Website||Click here to go to the Tricycle Cinema website.|