South Asia Center Nonresident Senior Fellow Barbara Slavin writes for Al-Monitor on a new film about 2009 Iranian political protests:
When “Daily Show” host Jon Stewart set out to make a movie about the 2009 Iranian political protests and the imprisonment of a Newsweek reporter, he couldn’t foresee that the film would be released at such a pivotal time for US-Iran relations.
As it turns out, though, “Rosewater” is hitting American theaters on Nov. 14, just 10 days before the deadline for a comprehensive nuclear deal that could significantly affect US-Iran relations and the trajectory of the Islamic Republic.
Asked by Al-Monitor at a Nov. 9 screening in Washington whether he worried that the film’s depiction of the Iranian regime’s crackdown on demonstrators and rough treatment of reporter Maziar Bahari would encourage those in the United States and Israel who oppose a nuclear deal, Stewart replied, “For those that don’t want a deal, they will use anything to sabotage it on both sides. … You cannot control what idiots will weaponize, and to censor yourself for their ignorance would be a mistake. This movie demonizes no one. It says what the Iranian government did to Maziar Bahari and presents … Iranian society, hopefully in a more complex way than Western audiences have seen from a Western director.”