There was more than a twinge of curiosity when The Daily Show captain Jon Stewart took an extended hiatus from his Comedy Central hosting duties to write and direct the film Rosewater. Adapted from the non-fiction book Then They Came For Me: A Family’s Story of Love, Captivity and Survival by Mazier Bahari and Aimee Malloy, the film tells the harrowing true story of Tehran-born journalist Bahari who was detained in Iran for more than 100 days and brutally assaulted after he recorded and produced footage of Iranian street riots to the BBC. With Stewart at the helm, Rosewater is hopefully an avid indictment of the way news is filtered throughout the world (a specialty of The Daily Show). Today comes the reveal that Rosewater will open in theaters this fall.
Gael Garcia Bernal, the Mexican-born actor who is no stranger to potentially controversial subjects (the Oscar-nominated Chilean film No, Alejandro Gonzalaz Innaritu’s Babel) stars as Bahari while Iranian born, Oscar nominated actress Shohreh Aghdashloo (House of Sand and Fog) portrays Bahari’s mother.
Bahari was a Canadian citizen who worked in London when the story starts in 2009. The film follows Bahari as he heads to Iran to interview Mir-Hossein Moussavi, a challenger to Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. After Ahmadinejad’s controversial victory led to violence and street riots, Bahari was imprisoned.
Rosewater marks Stewart’s first time behind the camera.
Open Road Films purchased U.S. rights to the film back in May, when the film was screened for specialty buyers at Cannes. Rosewater will open in North American theaters on November 7, 2014. Open Road will platform the film and will likely peg the movie as their big entry into the 2014 awards race.