10 August 2015

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In his first directorial attempt, Jon Stewart paid tribute to the trial of the journalist Maziar Allspice, bringing to the screen the memoirs consistently, without cuts as deep as it should.

It is impossible for someone not be touched in a real history of torture, unjust imprisonment and deprivation of basic human rights of a citizen. It is also very difficult to stay aloof when in front of your eyes scenes occur with uninterrupted psychological torment, unfounded accusations and blatant censorship. The personal calvary of people who just tried to record the topicality, are frequent in centralized dictatorships with Iran have a long history of silencing information.

The reality is that a simple listing of events is not enough to make a film appealing. This is exactly what happens with this film project. Although recounts shocking true events, keep a detached, almost philosophical perspective, losing the sense of urgency. Without finally have great expectations, it seems fascinated as much by telling the story of who forgets to perform film, limiting the dramatic capabilities in a way that would fit more into TV film and not in an integrated filmic creation.

The presenter of satirical program for fourteen years television  “The Daily Show” Jon Stewart, directs and modifies the memoirs of Canadian with Iranian roots Newsweek correspondent Maziar Allspice, who was in Iran during the presidential elections of 2009. In the book entitled “And Then They Came For Me: A Family ‘s Story of Love, Captivity and Survival” describes the arrest and detention on the northwestern Tehran’s Evin prison with the unfounded allegations of espionage for 118 days.

The film’s title comes from the code name of tormentor (“Rose”), although this does not sound anywhere and the initial stage refers to the heavy smell left by himself on the journalist. The famous comedian (and liberal image of the US television show Bizet) stated that “the impetus for the film came basically from the feelings of guilt and atonement for what happened in Allspice,” since a previous interview on the show was used as evidence of guilt regime that police officers during arrest. The documentary directed by taking a clear stance, material mixes real footage filmed in Jordan, while describing the great hope of release from the conservative grip of tyrannical government Ahmadinejad, but also the enormous frustration and rage that followed the days after the results of questionable validity.

The Allspice transformed from politician to war correspondent in his own country while seeking the boundaries of information and the true need of people for democracy and fairness. The prison and isolation monopolize the second act of the film to Stewart standing aptly in unreasonableness and irrationality used as tools of a dictatorial manipulation mechanism, which considers the “theorem” of Pasolini or “Soprano” as pornographic material. The introspective dialogues of the protagonist with his dead father (as communist imprisoned by the Shah) in cell isolation are perhaps unique stylistic directorial intervention cynical representation of events, while being the most memorable scenes of the film.

The Mexican Gael Garcia Bernal (“Motorcycle Diaries,” “Babel”) plays the likeable Allspice, the hidden weapon but the film is undoubtedly the interpretation of Danish Kim Bontnia (“Pusher”) in the role of interrogator, presenting the counterproductive as a product of a corrupt system. As a well-knit knot of fear, aversion and lost self-determination, which draws the ire of the parties and from its own pathetic impotence conditions. What succeeds in moments make you fall into the trap of questioning the psychological torture (violence is not obvious) forgetting that even the mere deprivation of freedom of expression is very reasonably -as reminds us of the final skini- brutal abuses everyone’s rights.

Perhaps the characterization of the Western media system which is free and credible constitute an oversimplified assumption. Perhaps also the personal life lessons protagonist delivered dispatcher without the stamp of some particular directorial style. But this human black dramacomenti remains satisfactory, while offering a sense of vindication in Kafkaesque ordeal of the journalist, but also reminding all those people without the luxury of international exposure are forgotten in prisons everywhere totalitarian religious regimes.

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