Maziar Bahari Pt. 2

  • Aired:  06/06/11
  •  | Views: 23,762

Maziar Bahari had to tap into his inner resources when he spent 107 days in solitary confinement in an Iranian prison. (5:36)

( CHEERS AND APPLAUSE )

LET ME ASK YOU, FIRST OF ALL,

THIS REALLY IS IS AN

INCREDIBLE STORY.

I WANT TO SHOW THIS RIGHT

HERE.

THEN THEY CAME FOR ME.

A FAMILY STORY.

WHAT'S INCREDIBLE IS IS YOUR

FATHER IN THE 1950s WAS

ARRESTED BY THE SHAW'S PEOPLE

BECAUSE HE BELONGED TO WHAT

WAS CALLED THE TUDA PARTY.

>> THE COMMUNIST PARTY.

>> Jon: YOUR SISTER WAS

ARRESTED....

>> IN THE 1980s.

>> Jon: IN THE 1980s UNDER

KHOMEINI.

THE SAME THING.

YOUR FAMILY HAS FACED THIS

HISTORY.

HOW DOES A FAMILY STAY AT A

CERTAIN POINT IN THE COUNTRY

AND PUT UP WITH THAT SORT OF

SWORD HANGING OVER THEIR HEADS

ALL THE TIME?

>> THE STORY OF MY FAMILY IS

VERY TYPICAL OF MANY IRANIAN

FAMILIES.

MANY IRANIAN FAMILIES WENT

THROUGH EVEN WORSE STORIES

THAN MY FAMILY.

MY FATHER AND MY SISTER, THEY

BOTH BELIEVED IN AN IDEAL.

THEY WANTED TO HELP PEOPLE.

THEY WANTED A BETTER FUTURE

FOR THEIR COUNTRY.

AND THEY FOUGHT FOR THAT.

THEY HAD TO PAY FOR IT.

>> Jon: BOTH TORTURED ALSO IN

PRISON.

>> YES.

MY FATHER WAS TORTURED BY THE

SHAH'S REGIME.

HE SPENT FOUR YEARS IN SHAH'S

PRISONS.

HIS TOENAILS WERE DAMAGED.

HE COULDN'T WALK PROPERLY.

MY SISTER SPENT SIX YEARS IN

THE '80s IN KHOMEINI'S REGIME.

SHE HAD MOCK EXECUTION AND

WENT THROUGH TORTURE.

THIS IS A TYPICAL IRANIAN

FAMILY STORY BUT AT THE SAME

TIME THEY NEVER GAVE UP HOPE

ABOUT THE FUTURE OF IRAN.

AND THE FUTURE... THE FUTURE

OF A BETTER IRAN.

THEY ALWAYS FOUGHT FOR A

BETTER IRAN.

THEY INSPIREDED ME.

WHILE I WAS IN PRISON WHEN

THEY ARRESTED ME IN 2009, WHEN

I WAS IN PRISON I WAS INSPIRED

BY THE MEMORY OF MY FAMILY.

BY THE MEMORY OF MY FATHER AND

MY SISTER.

>> Jon: YOU WRITE ABOUT ALSO

FEELING THE PRESSURE TO LIVE

UP TO THEM BECAUSE THEY HAD

BEEN SO BRAVE.

DID THAT WEIGH ON YOU OR DID

THAT ALSO GIVE YOU STRENGTH?

>> IT BOTH... IT WAS... IT

GAVE ME A STRENGTH BECAUSE I

TALKED A LOT TO MY FATHER AND

MY SISTER ABOUT THEIR TIME IN

PRISON.

WHEN I CAME OUT OF PRISON A

LOT OF PEOPLE ASKED ME HOW

COME YOU'RE RELATIVELY

UNSCATHED?

YOU LOOK AT THIS UNSCATHED.

THAT WAS MAINLY BECAUSE OF MY

IMAGINARY CONVERSATIONS WITH

MY FATHER AND MY SISTER.

AND BECAUSE THEIR MEMORIES,

THEIR LOVE, IT GAVE ME

INSPIRATION.

YOU KNOW, I'VE NEVER BEEN A

SPIRITUAL PERSON.

YOU KNOW, I NEVER WATCHED

OPRAH, YOU KNOW, LIKE THAT.

>> Jon: DID NOT THINK YOU WERE

GOING THERE.

(LAUGHING)

>> BUT WHEN I WAS IN PRISON,

YOU KNOW, I SPENT 107 DAYS IN

SOLITARY CONFINEMENT.

IN SOLITARY CONFINEMENT I HAD

TO TAP INSIDE MY INNER

RESOURCES.

MY INNER RESOURCES WERE MY

MEMORIES OF MY FAMILY, MY

FATHER, SISTER, AND ALSO THE

BIGGER MEMORIES OF CULTURE,

HISTORY, MUSIC WHICH I EXPLAIN

IN THE BOOK.

THAT WAS, TO ME, IT WAS A VERY

SPIRITUAL EXPERIENCE.

>> Jon: RIGHT.

>> EVEN THOUGH I NEVER JOINED

A CULT.

>> Jon: IF ONLY THEY HAD

GOTTEN YOU AT THE RIGHT TIME.

>> EXACTLY.

>> Jon: THAT'S WHAT'S SO, I

THINK, INCREDIBLE ABOUT THIS

BOOK.

THIS IS NOT TO MINIMIZE OTHER

PEOPLE'S EXPERIENCES BECAUSE

I'VE READ, THERE HAVE BEEN

SOME MEMOIRS OF JOURNALISTS OR

OTHER PEOPLE WHO HAVE BEEN

IMPRISONED IN TOTALITARIAN

REGIMES AND OTHER PLACES.

YOUR ABILITY TO CONNECT IT TO

YOUR FAMILY AND JUST THE

NUANCES OF WHAT YOU PICK UP

EVEN FROM YOUR CAPTORS.

YOU KNOW, YOU TALK ABOUT THIS

FELLOW ROSEWATER THAT WAS YOUR

INTERROGATOR AND YOUR

TORTURER.

HIS FATHER HAD ALSO BEEN IN

PRISON.

IT'S SUCH AN INTERESTING

SYNCHRONICITY THAT YOU WERE

ABLE TO REMEMBER.

HOW DID YOU KEEP THESE THINGS

IN YOUR MIND TO BE ABLE TO

CHRONICLE THEM?

>> THE THING IS THAT WHEN

YOU'RE UNDER A LOT OF PRESSURE,

YOU HAVE TO CREATE AN INNER

UNIVERSE FOR YOURSELF.

YOU HAVE TO SHIELD YOURSELF

INSIDE.

SO YOU HAVE THE PHYSICAL

PRESSURE AND OF COURSE YOU

HAVE THE PSYCHOLOGICAL

PRESSURE.

BUT THERE IS SOMETHING INSIDE

YOU THAT YOU KEEP INTACT.

WHEN SOMEONE IS CHARGING YOU

WITH SUCH EXAGGERATED

ACCUSATIONS LIKE, YOU KNOW,

MOST OF YOUR AUDIENCE DON'T

KNOW....

>> Jon: WE'RE GOING TO GO TO A

COMMERCIAL.

BEFORE WE GO, I DO WANT TO SAY

IN THE SPIRIT OF FULL

DISCLOSURE.

THIS IS HOW IMPRESSED I AM

WITH THIS MAN'S STORY AND HIS

COURAGE IN THIS BOOK.

YOU AND I ARE WORKING TOGETHER

ON A FILM ABOUT THIS.

THAT WE'RE GOING TO USE AND

I'VE SUGGESTED OBVIOUSLY MATT

DAMON AS YOU.

AGAIN, IT'S UP TO YOU.

THE CASTING WILL BE UP TO YOU.

>> I WAS THINKING ABOUT WILL

SMITH.

>> Jon: ON THE BOOK SHELVES

NOW.

THE REST OF THIS WE'LL PUT UP

ON

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