When I first heard that Jon Stewart was going to write, direct, and produce a movie based on this book, I instantly ordered the book. I had every intention of reading it before the movie came out. But I’ve been a bit swamped with work (and am trying to write another book of my own), so I haven’t been able to read as many books as I’ve ordered. To be honest, I am about 60 books behind.
So I went to see the movie the other night, and I must say, Bravo, Mr. Stewart. The story of how Maziar Bahari, a journalist, was imprisoned in Iran for being “a spy” and how he handled himself throughout this ordeal is poignant, funny at times, and inspiring. The message about the importance of allowing journalists to do their jobs and enabling dissenting voices to be heard is clearly and intelligently conveyed.
And you know what? I decided I deserved a reading staycation. So I curled up in bed with Bahari’s book (which in the paperback version is called ROSEWATER, like the film), and I was not disappointed. On the contrary. It was easy to see why Jon was inspired to make the film: Bahari’s book tells a powerful story with grace, wit, and humility, and he is as honest about his moments of weakness as he is about his insights. I’m glad I read it after seeing the movie, for two reasons: 1) the movie laid a foundation of useful background knowledge about the historical situation and 2) it was fascinating to see the original text that Jon worked from.
I don’t want to spoil anything. Both the book and the movie are worth the price of admission.