Rosewater 2014 ***

Jon Stewart’s directorial debut is a tight little drama about naïve journalist Maziar (Gael Garcia Bernal) who fins himself arrested after video-taping protests against the government in Iran. Over a long period of interrogation by a government lackey identified as Rosewater (Kim Bodia), Maziar has to contend with gruelling techniques of eliciting information as well as the ghost of his own father who visits him in captivity. Stewart plays it straight, but surreal humour infects the film as Maziar enjoys a Leonard Cohen disco in his head and begins to feed ridiculous stories to his captor, turning the nature of the captivity on its head. A politically astute film, Rosewater is a welcome burst of political responsibility in US cinema, and makes an ideal companion to the same year’s Camp X Ray.


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