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Who knows how we're supposed to handle whatever political ridiculousness happens this summer without him, but Jon Stewart is now on a lengthy hiatus from The Daily Show, stepping behind the camera to make his directorial debut Rosewater. The story is relatively unknown to most of us, but the man at the center of it, London-based journalist Maziar Bahari, appeared on The Daily Show back on 2009-- which is how Stewart became aware of his story in the first place.
The piece itself at the center of this clip isn't that much about Bahari, and more of a typical Daily Show setup-- a clueless correspondent goes somewhere he has no business going, makes a fool of himself, and makes a larger point in the process. Later in the show Stewart talked about how that segment led to his decision to make his directorial debut, adapting Bahari's book Then They Came For Me, about what happened to him a week after the Daily Show segment aired. As it turns out, Bahari was accused of being in contact with an American spy, who in fact was Jason Jones-- a Canadian.
A few weeks ago word broke that Gael Garcia Bernal would be starring as Bahari, who was detained for 118 days in Iran after traveling to the country to cover the 2009 election. With the subtitles A Family's Story Of Love, Captivity And Survival the movie seems to be a lot more emotionally weighty than what we usually expect from the wisecracking Stewart, but the comedian's ability to tap into personal outrage on stories like this-- or even wonkier ones, like Internet privacy concerns-- is what's made him such a force sitting behind that desk for more than a decade now. Can that translate to actually directing a movie? The skills pretty much have nothing to do with each other, after all. But if 15 years of making news tolerable hasn't earned Jon Stewart a free pass for one passion project, I'm not sure what does.