I've always been fond of Middle-Eastern culture and customs; the music, the dancing, the elegance, and yes also the movies. My sister recommended this one; and it unveils another side of tradition still practiced during the 20th century; a very ugly side that films like this one can thankfully expose the truth to the world, enabling society to assist in discontinuing such inhumane and inequitable sort of punishment.
We live still in a very patriarchal society worldwide; men are paid more, men are able to have the final say in politics and most times also in the home. Women are not seen for what they really are; they are the bearers of life, they are goddesses to be cherished and respected but time and time again women are given bad names like: whores, bitches, hags, and broads, among many other derogatory names. Sure there are bad apples everywhere, in all races, countries, and even sexes. However respect again is something lacking in our human race. Treat others as you would like to be treated, love others how you would like to be loved, respect one another the way you wish also to be respected…
This 2008 film written and directed by Cyrus Nowrasteh was set in the 1980's in Iran and is based on a true story of real events that sadly still continue to this day. The Stoning of Soraya M. was an intense depiction of a dutiful wife and mother's overturn to death despite her innocence. It showed the malady of what she endured in silence and accused in the end for something she would not have fathomed of committing, especially as she already endured upset because of her husband being unfaithful to her as well as beating her in front of her children. It clearly showed the double-standards not only within the Iranian/Middle-Eastern society but also within fanatical religious sects.
The performance by Shohreh Aghdashloo who played Zahra and Soraya M.'s aunt was one of the best I've seen to date. There is beauty and strength in her words and facial expressions; she is a natural at delivering believable sensitivity and emotions throughout each scene. For me, she certainly stole the show and easily made this film a classic. The camera angles, close-shots and cinematography were first-rate and the soundtrack and especially the sound effects and haunting rhythm of the hitting of stones added that much fear and thrill to help the film reach its climax.
It is interesting to me how hypocritical we are in society, when it is alright for a man to sleep with many women and be considered a hero, and it is unladylike even for a woman to smoke a cigarette; something is very wrong here. How can humans continue asking the Universe for signs and when it is given we dismiss it completely. We doubt, we complain, we pretend as though we don't see it; yet we always ask for help… When all we need to do is love one another as we would also like to be loved; but it is something that we always fail to do; until we learn first how to do this, we shall never know what true love really is.