Monday, September 1, 2014

Trailer Wars: Time Off Well Spent

Last summer, when it was first announced that Jon Stewart would be taking a leave of absence to direct and write the screenplay for his first movie, all I could do was feel a little worried for our outstanding skewer of media and politics.

Sure, we would get to enjoy the jovial, British wit of John Oliver for a couple months, but what about Stewart? Would his venture back to films turn out like his often joked about and ill fated supporting role in Death To Smoochy? Should he dare return to movie land?

The world of his fans then anxiously crossed numerous fingers, awaiting word on the final product.

This week the trailer for said flick, Rosewater, (based on the memoir, Then They Came For Me) was released. What sigh of relief! Even without seeing the final product in its complete form, it's clear our man Stewart may indeed have a life beyond a desk and jokes about Glenn Beck.

Ultimately, this movie about the capture and over three-month imprisonment of former Newsweek reporter Maziar Bahari, couldn't be coming out at a more interesting time.

There is a huge part of the world raging out of control - between Russia, the Ebola outbreak, the ongoing tension between Palestine and Israel, plus the increasing violence in Iraq and Syria, some are already wondering if this could escalate into a new world war.

People are scared. They have questions and are worried about their stakes in the various crises.

Those doing their best to keep everyone informed are journalists, risking their lives in the hopes that information is power - that telling the stories of people living amongst these tragedies is still important.

Sometimes journalists get entangled within the stories they are trying to capture. With the recent tragedy of James Foley, we know too well what can happen.

Thankfully, for Bahari, he made it back alive and by telling his story we can all spend some time learning more about a life experience vastly different than our own. Maybe allow for more compassion and empathy. Movies may be entertainment, but the best ones teach us something.

After hearing that the film got a standing ovation at the Telluride Film Festival last night, I think its safe to say that Stewart set out with a mission to tell an impactful story and succeeded even with some doubtful minds.

Stewart, you old softie, we worried early on only because we care!

Until next time

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