The video has three main interviews. One with Sherif Mansour, a member of Committee to Protect Journalists; Ali Rezaian, Jason’s brother; and Mary Rezaian, Jason’s mother.
The interview with Sherif Mansour shows him discussing that Jason Rezaian has been in jail for seven months, the longest of any international journalist. Mansour goes on to explain there is no evidence against Rezaian. Mansour explains that the most recent news is that Jason will have a day in court, but the court he will be in is one of the worst in Iran because it is a revolutionary court. The revolutionary court usually hears cases regarding national security and espionage.
The second interview is with Jason’s brother, Ali. Ali explains what he and his family know about the situation regarding Jason’s arrest. On the evening of July 22 authorities came to Jason and his wife’s home and were subsequently arrested. Iranian authorities then went through his wife, Yeganeh, and Jason’s computers and devices. The two were then taken to Evin prison where they were both kept in solitary confinement; ultimately Yeganeh was released after 72 days. Ali goes on to explain that neither he, nor his family, has been able to speak with Jason.
Next, Ali describes he and Jason’s backgrounds—their father was an Iranian national who moved to San Francisco, where he and Jason were born and raised, and that Jason ultimately followed a career in journalism. Ali explains that Jason had never been to Iran, until he was 28 years old when he made a documentary about his travels in Iran.
Ali describes Jason’s conditions in prison, which were unhealthy. Ali explains that Jason lost a considerable amount of weight and he suffered from infections. Ali then explains how he and Jason’s mother traveled to Iran and pleaded with the government for Jason’s release.
Ali explains how Jason has never been able to speak with an attorney.
Ali explains that Jason loves his job as a journalist and telling stories.
Ali then speaks about how people communicate with him and ask how they can help.
The third interview is with Jason’s mother, Mary Rezaian. She explains how she waits everyday for some form of news. The video then plays a clip of Mary Rezaian being interviewed on CNN, speaking in Arabic. This interview further illustrates Jason’s mother pleading for his release.
During all three interviews various screenshots of Jason’s work for The Washington Post are flashed in the background of the speaker. There are also articles flashed in the background of the person being interviewed that illustrate a point that the speaker is making with regards to news about Jason’s imprisonment.
The interviews with Ali Rezaian and Sherif Mansour both took place in a recording studio with a black backdrop, which did not particularly add to the narrative, as this was a specific location in relation to the documentary. However, the simplistic black backdrop did add to the visual aesthetics of the film because there was nothing else to detract ones attention.
The interview with Mary Rezaian took place in what appeared to be a home office, which also did not particularly aid in the narrative. The second clip of Jason’s mother takes place in a CNN news studio, which does somewhat add to the narrative because Jason is a journalist and this interview takes place in a news studio.
Throughout the video there was various pictures shown of Jason, both by himself and with friends and family. These added to the narrative tremendously because it showed Jason in his element during day-to-day activities in Iran. This further helped the narrative because these pictures depicted Jason not participating in any wrongdoing, like the Iranians would have us believe. The photos also help to convey the filmmaker’s point that Jason is innocent.
The film also showed the clip of Jason on “Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown.” This clip fit with the film nicely because Jason was arrested only a few weeks after the filming of the episode. The clip shows Jason speaking about Iran in a positive light in a restaurant terrace. This clip further drives home the point that Jason is innocent and devoid of any wrongdoing.
This video differs greatly from a traditional news report covering the same events. Perhaps the biggest difference is that the video is conveying a specific message—that Jason Rezaian is innocent and should be set free. In this regard the video is very slanted towards a specific position. A typical news report would largely not have such a slant and outline the events of Jason’s stories. Additionally, the video is a bit more artistic than we would expect from a more traditional news story.