Jon Stewart makes his directorial debut in Rosewater—the story of Iranian journalist Maziar Bahari who was detained, interrogated, and tortured for filming protests in Iran during the 2009 presidential elections.
Here’s a clip from Fresh Air’s interview with Stewart:
On how humor sustained Bahari when he was in solitary confinement
“Humor survives in the bleakest of conditions. … I think the idea that under these incredibly harsh conditions, not only did [Bahari’s] humor survive, his humor sustained him. And I found that incredibly empowering to an extent in that I always felt that.
People always say, “Is that an appropriate joke? Is it appropriate to joke about that subject?” And [I] always want to say, “Not only is it appropriate to joke about that subject, but I think it’s essential to joke about it.” … I’ve always had this experience at funerals or in a time of great worry [that] a joke can kind of reenergize or reconfigure a room or bring people back to life to some extent. His ability to do that for himself in the absence of audience I thought was remarkable.”
The full interview:
PS. We had so much material we want to share with you that we’re splitting the Stewart interview into two parts. We’ll have a second show that’s more about The Daily Show airing soon. Stay tuned.
Photo credit: Victoria Will - ABC