By Oliver Gettell
Aug. 28--It takes four walls to imprison a person's body, but the spirit is another matter. Such is the drama at the heart of Rosewater, Jon Stewart's fact-based political movie about journalist Maziar Bahari's 118-day ordeal in an Iranian jail.
A newly released trailer for the film, above, offers the first in-depth look at Rosewater, which is based on Bahari's bestselling memoir "Then They Came for Me: A Family's Story of Love, Captivity, and Survival," co-written with Aimee Molloy.
Gael Garcia Bernal plays the Tehran-born, London-based BBC reporter, who travelled to Iran to cover the 2009 presidential election pitting incumbent Mahmoud Ahmadinejad against reformist opposition candidate Mir-Hossein Mousavi.
In the trailer, Bahari is seen interviewing supporters of both sides, but after filming the riots and accusations of fraud that erupted in the wake of Ahmadinejad's easy victory, he's apprehended by Iranian authorities, thrown in jail and accused of being a spy.
Spearheading the gruelling, at times absurdist interrogation is a mysterious man Bahari nicknames Rosewater (Kim Bodnia) for his distinctive scent. At one point, one of the captors says to another, "You must not just take his blood: You must take his hope."
Bahari, however, endures -- he dances, laughs and at one point is heard to say, "In their hearts, they know they cannot win."
Stewart, who welcomed Bahari on The Daily Show both before and after his incarceration and also covered the story as it was in progress, took a three-month hiatus from his TV duties to make the film, which represents his screenwriting and directorial debut.
Rosewater will screen at the Telluride and Toronto film festivals later this month.
(c) 2014 the Los Angeles Times