Sunday12th October, 6pm – Odeon West End, Screen 2
Tuesday 14th October, 12.3pm – Odeon West End, Screen 2
Thursday 16th October, 8.30pm – Odeon Covent Garden, Screen 2
Rosewater is hilarious. Given its subject, one would expect this film to be filled with shadows, solemn music and sheer, shock-factor brutality. Instead, what has proven more effective is director Jon Stewart’s decision to create a light, humorous atmosphere. The audience is encouraged to laugh at Maziar Bahari’s interrogator, who is revealed to be intellectually inferior to his prisoner, allowing Bahari to play and mock him once his hope is restored. In this case, the laughter reveals power and strength. This humorous aspect, above all of its deeper meanings, makes the film more accessible to a more universal audience, enabling the importance of its message to be carried further than any alienating formal news report – and the contemporary relevance of this film is part of its importance and appeal.
Solitary confinement (the desperation, the broken spirit and its mental effect) is a key aspect of Rosewater, and one of its most intriguing. The power in the hands of the captors, and the ease with which they manipulate it, relies solely and is completely limited to their ability to control their prisoners’ access to information. Bahari is easily misled and broken by their words and their beatings: he believes he is forgotten by the outside world because they want him to believe it. His hope is reliant wholly on this, and his story, an individual journalist, acts as a metaphor for all corrupt governments who censor their countries. It is within these governments and authorities that journalists are imprisoned for bearing witness to atrocities they feel it is only right to show the world.
Rosewater imparts the message that information and knowledge are power, and can be the difference between freedom and imprisonment, literal or otherwise.
Rosewater release date is yet to be announced.
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Read more reviews from the festival here.
Watch the trailer for Rosewater here: