Star Apps: ‘Rosewater’

Jon Stewart bought the movie rights to imprisoned Iranian journalist Maziar Bahari‘s best-selling memoir, “Then They Came for Me: A Family’s Story of Love, Captivity, and Survival.” “The Daily Show” host didn’t initially intended to direct “Rosewater” himself, but his investment in Bahari’s story became so great that he saw no other way. I chatted with Jon Stewart and Maziar Bahari about “Rosewater” and the power of social media for political change.

First-time director Jon Stewart on the Rosewater set.

(Credit: Open Road Films)

Jon, with this film being your directorial debut, where did you draw inspiration from? Jon Stewart: I was most influenced by Maziar and his story. The source material was there. As far as the visuals, the idea was to create a palette that the story could live in without the palette itself drawing your eye. So the idea was to create a quiet inauthenticity, ’cause we weren’t in Iran; we were in Jordan. So environmentally and accent-wise, it lived in a world that wasn’t discordant, so you could focus on the narrative of it. The prison was not going to be a dungeon, even though the expectations from Westerners was that Maziar was held in a dungeon without lights and wit… [Read more]

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