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:: The Stoning Of Soraya M

There will be very few films in your lifetime that will outrage you as much as ‘The Stoning Of Soraya M’ will. It’s not the film that will outrage you. It is actually a masterpiece. However, the topic will horrify you so much that you will be writing to Governments urging for the practice of stoning women to be ended. The fact that you feel this way shows the filmmakers have adapted Freidoune Sahebjam’s novel brilliantly for the screen.

Freidounce Sahebjam (Jim Caviezel) is a French-Iranian journalist who is forced to stop in an Iranian village when his car breaks down. Here he meets Zahra (Shohreh Aghdashloo) who tells him about the shocking events that have occurred in the village over the last 24 hours – the brutal stoning of a woman named Soraya (Mozhan Marno) because of the lies told by her husband Ali (Navid Negahban), the village’s Mayor, Ebrahim (David Diaan), a false Mullah (Ali Pourtash) and local man, Hashem (Parviz Sayyad), all because Ali wants Soraya out of his life so he can marry a 14-year-old girl.

Director Cyrus Nowrasteh made a brave decision to make this film. This is a film that will anger Muslims across the world but Nowrasteh puts this aside to tell a story that he knows the world needs to see. And it seems although he is the right person for the job. The dramatic scenes have you on the edge of your seat while the violence of Soraya’s stoning may put Guy Ritchie and Quinten Tarantino to shame, but sticks with you enough to make an impact. The fact the film was shot nearly entirely on location makes you realise just how good Nowrasteh is as a director.

Some credit must also be paid to Nowrasteh’s wife, Betsy Giffen, whose script develops characters and the story so well that you develop strong emotions for both and against all of the characters. A special mention must be made for Shohreh Aghdashloo and Mozhan Marno who deserve Oscars for their performances.

Brutal and graphic, ‘The Stoning Of Soraya M’ will stay with you for a long time after the credits end. On of the most important films ever made – this is a masterpiece.