John Stewart makes his first movie and it’s really good. It’s the true story of a Newsweek journalist that was arrested in Iran after the 2009 election. Stewart takes a very compelling story written by Maziar Bahari after spending over 100 days in solitary confinement and presents it in a beautiful and compelling film. The movie is full of humor and even manages to humanize Bahari’s torturer. Stewart also includes a few jabs at New Jersey because “everybody knows about New Jersey.” The movie stars Mexican actor Gael García Bernal in a very strong performance.
John Stewart seems like an odd choice for this film. Known for his Daily Show, Stewart is respectful of the people, culture, and story and shows that he can make a film worth watching.
I got to see the film at a special advance screening followed by a live telecast of John Stewart and Maziar Bahari being interviewed by Stephen Colbert (not in character). You can tell they are all passionate about the subject. Their wish is that this film might be seen by the right people in Iran and other countries where free speech is forbidden.
I highly recommend this film. I hope it is considered at Oscar time including Stewart for direction.