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THE STONING OF SORAYA M. — A Movie Review May 23, 2011

Posted by lycan librarian in Movie Review.
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This is a powerful and unforgettable movie based on a true story, or I should say, many true stories. It takes place in a small, remote village in Iran and tells the tale of an inconvenient wife. Soraya’s husband spends the household money on a fancy car and his new mistress while his wife cares for their four children the best she can. The boys are learning from their father and adopting his mentality, so the oldest demeans her and tries to get his younger brother to do the same. Meanwhile his two daughters mean little to the husband, as girls are considered a disposable resource. The husband intends to marry his 14-year-old mistress, but does not want to support two wives, so expects Soraya to simply let him go. He wants to move, with his sons to the city, but that would leave Soraya with no way to support her daughters.

When a local man is widowed, the powerful men in the village decide Soraya should help him with cooking, cleaning and caring for his son. In time, the husband tempers the gossip mill to turn her visits to the house into adultery, an offense punishable by death. By threatening the  widower and his son, the husband and the village officials get him to accuse Soraya. She has no way to prove her innocence and is condemned to death by stoning.

This film is produced by Stephen McEveety, the man who did PASSION OF THE CHRIST, and the stoning scenes are completely graphic and stomach-churning. The viewer feels as if they are right there, helpless in the midst of the cruelty. I flinched through the entire thing and was finally brought to tears when Soraya’s sons were brought forth to take part in the stoning. What kind of man would a boy grow into after doing such a thing — to anyone’s mother? But if seeing, and being forever haunted by this film can help bring awareness of this barbaric practice that is still taking place daily in numerous countries around the world, then it’s worth a sleepless night or two, or three, or four…

Note: I am suddenly unable to indent for new paragraphs, and it is driving me crazy. If anyone can help me with this problem, please get in touch. I have tried everything I could think of, and even asked for assistance from the site, but have not gotten a response. Thank you!

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