Rosewater (Review)

Another movie depicting freedom of speech under attack. Well, it was being screened on the same night as CitizenFour, so I guess they were the same subject matter.

Taking place in Iran, a Canadian-Iranian journalist, Maziar Bahari (Gael Garcia Bernal) has returned home after his trip to London. However, simply capturing some footage on a friend’s satellite infested roof and trying to stand up to represent the Green Movement in Iran gets him arrested and detained in Evin Prison, where he is brutally interrogated day after day. Spending four months of solitary confinement with the occasional routine of interrogation while blindfolded, Bahari tries hard to free himself in the most civil way possible. His captors believe Bahari is a Canadian spy exposing secrets of Iran to the world. The captors also think most of his souvenirs from overseas are pornography. Even a DVD of The Sopranos. It seems that the interragator has a distinct smell of rosewater on him as well, which is probably just the scent of his cologne. It seems no matter what Bahari does on the civil side to be released, things never seem to work out for him, as he gets further tortured. To make matters worse, when his pregnant girlfriend draws the world’s attention to Bahari’s detainment, this only leads to the prison getting more upset with Bahari, even at some points threatening to kill him.

This was an interesting subject for a film. The action was intense and suspenseful, the characters were well acted, and it was based on a true story, told very well. It’s upsetting to see how things are in Iran, and no film could show one’s struggle with being a strongly outspoken journalist better than this one.

(“Rosewater poster” by Source. Licensed under Fair use via Wikipedia.)

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