Tuesday, November 11, 2014


Middle East Spy Thriller
Director/ Writer: Jon Stewart
Cast: Gael Garcia Bernal, Shohreh Aghdashloo, Claire Foy, Kim Bodnia, Dimitri Leonidas, Haluk Bilginer

By James Colt Harrison

Rosewater is based on a true story and the book (“Then They Came for Me”) written by journalist Maziar Bahari. The London-based scribe is a native-born Iranian (or Persian, as they prefer) who experienced a nightmare of torture and incarceration by the brutal regime in power in Teheran.

Young Mexican star Gael Garcia Bernal plays Bahari. Bernal is best known in this country from the films Amores Perros (2000), Y tu mama tambien (2001), The Motorcycle Diaries (2004), and Babel (2006). With a little magic Hollywood makeup and hairstyling, he can look like an Iranian.

Temperatures were rising among the native Iranians when the 2009 presidential elections were due and the populace felt corruption dominated politics in Teheran. Bahari, who has a Canadian passport, was working for Newsweek , the major international news magazine, and wanted to cover the election process. He traveled to Teheran with a camera in hopes of getting some good interviews and information about the state of affairs in his native country. The populace was stirred greatly by the hotly contested battle between hardline incumbent Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and moderate Mir-Hossein Mousavi, in whom the electorate had great hopes.

Immediately interrogated at his mother’s home (Shoreh Aghdashloo), he is accused of looking at pornographic videos and is arrested. He begins his 118 day incarceration at the notorious Evin prison where he is assigned the interrogator “Rosewater” (because of his scent), as played by Kim Bodnia. He is intermittently kind, vicious, understanding, violent, and intense. But still, he is not exactly shown as a brutal madman as we expect. Bahari shows respect and calmness toward his captors. He ends up never really telling them anything.

There’s a lot of excitement during the part of the film when the elections are fudged by the wily and corrupt, vertically challenged Ahmadinejad by closing down the polls early and declaring victory by stealing the election. This ignites students to riot in the streets during what was called the Green Movement. Millions of people took to the streets in a rare show of disobedience. It didn’t do them any good because they are back under the thumb of the religious leaders and corrupt politicians.

Although Rosewater is in the same vein as Ben Affleck’s Oscar®-winning film Argo, we realize that both films expose the tyranny now rampant in Iran. Efforts by the international community to end this oppression in a timely and peaceful manner is an on-going problem.

Find ArtsNFashion on FB and Twitter:



Post a Comment

Twitter Delicious Facebook Digg Stumbleupon Favorites More

Design by Free WordPress Themes | Bloggerized by Lasantha - Premium Blogger Themes | Grants For Single Moms