42 user 134 critic

Rosewater (2014)

2:26 | Trailer
Iranian-Canadian journalist Maziar Bahari is detained by Iranian forces who brutally interrogate him under suspicion that he is a spy.


Jon Stewart


Jon Stewart (screenplay), Maziar Bahari (book) | 1 more credit »
1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Gael García Bernal ... Maziar Bahari
Kim Bodnia ... Javadi (Rosewater)
Dimitri Leonidas ... Davood
Haluk Bilginer ... Baba Akbar
Shohreh Aghdashloo ... Moloojoon
Golshifteh Farahani ... Maryam
Claire Foy ... Paola
Amir El-Masry ... Alireza
Nasser Faris ... Haj Agha
Kambiz Hosseini Kambiz Hosseini ... Hassan
Numan Acar ... Rahim
Ayman Sharaiha Ayman Sharaiha ... Blue-Eyed Seyyed
Zeid Kattan Zeid Kattan ... Seyyed
Ali Elayan Ali Elayan ... Channel One State TV Interviewer
Nidal Ali Nidal Ali ... Prison Soundsman


Based of a true story about a journalist who gets detained and brutally interrogated in prison for 118 days. The journalist Maziar Bahari was blindfolded and interrogated for 4 months in Evin prison in Iran, while the only distinguishable feature about his captor is the distinct smell of rosewater. An interview and sketch that Maziar did with a journalist on The Daily Show (1996) was used as evidence that Maziar was a spy and in communication with the American government and the CIA. Written by abivians

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Biography | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language including some crude references, and violent content | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


The actual Maziar Bahari makes a cameo appearance as a man sitting in the desk near the camera when his character "confesses" to his crimes on Iranian Television. See more »


The "You're not alone" writing Maziar leaves on the wall near the end of the movie, changes when the next prisoner enters the cell. See more »


[first lines]
Maziar Bahari: [narrating] When I was nine my sister took me to the Shrine of Masumeh. It was beautiful. I will never forget the smell. A mix of sweat and rosewater they showered down on the faithful. I used to think only the most pious carried that scent.
See more »


Ye Baade Khonak
Composed by 25 Band and Tik Taak
Performed by 25 Band
Courtesy of 25 Band
See more »

User Reviews

Important and interesting film - must see
4 November 2014 | by behzad-1See all my reviews

The first thing everyone notes about this film is that it's Jon Stewart's directorial debut... and he did a great job. His characteristic humor is definitely present and rightly downplayed in deference to the serious subject. It flourishes when necessary, and when it does, his wit is as sharp as ever.

Stewart took some chances. Most importantly, he set the film in English instead of Persian with subtitles. While this brings a broader audience it diminishes the film's authenticity a bit. It's a calculated cost/benefit decision that I reluctantly agree with. The story is important and should reach as many people as possible. Still, he could have mixed in more Persian for a slightly better balance.

The language decision also opened the door to casting non-Persian actors, particularly the lead. Gael García Bernal played his highly nuanced character superbly but the role could have gone to one of many talented and available Persian actors. They would have added to the film's authenticity without sacrificing its artistic merit.

Once we get past these relatively minor language and ethnicity issues with the actors we find they are realistic and believable. To Stewart's (and Maziar Bahari's) credit, the Iranian officials are not the usual flat, black and white caricatures we love to hate in mainstream media; they are dynamic, regular people, crazed and ignorant to us, but "normal" in their own world. As Bahari said in an interview, even his torturer saw what he did as "a job", with benefits and overtime. This shifts the focus onto the corrupt institutions of the Iranian regime instead of mere personalities that can be summarily dismissed.

By countering the norm for demonizing all things Iran-related, Rosewater sets itself apart as a uniquely thoughtful, fascinating, important and relevant film.

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Release Date:

27 November 2014 (Israel) See more »

Also Known As:

Rosewater See more »

Filming Locations:

Amman, Jordan See more »


Box Office


$5,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$1,154,303, 16 November 2014

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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