The first trailer of Jon Stewart’s Rosewater has premiered. Stewart wrote and directed the true life account of Maziar Bahari, an Iranian Canadian journalist who was arrested and held for nearly four months for espionage while covering the 2009 Iranian elections. Gael Garcia Bernal (Babel) plays Barahi, who’s memoir Then They Came for Me, is the source material for the film.
People know Jon Stewart as the host of The Daily Show on Comedy Central, where the comedian actually took some extended time off to film Rosewater. Bahari and Stewart are close friends, and the journalist’s appearance on The Daily Show, (along with his Facebook page) was even cited as proof of Bahari’s espionage by his interrogators.
Rosewater recently premiered at the Venice Film Festival, where it was met with mixed reviews.
The trailer gives equal time to Bahari’s work as a journalist during the Iranian elections, and his eventual imprisonment for that work. The title of the film comes from a statement by Bahari that the only distinguishing characteristic of his interrogator was that he smelled of rosewater.
Rosewater was produced by OddLot Entertainment and is being distributed by Open Road Films.
When Stewart first announced his intentions to direct the film, the move initially surprised a lot of people, coming from a man who continuously plays down his role in the media as being a mere comedian covering the news. Rosewater is also Stewart’s first foray into both directing and writing for a feature length film.
The film will also show at Telluride and Toronto later this year, and has been given a November release.