Thursday, April 1, 2010

The Stoning of Soraya M. (2008)

Director: Cyrus Nowrasteh. Cast: Shohreh Aghdashloo, Mozhan Marnò, James Caviezel, Parviz Sayyad. 114 min. Rated R. Drama.

Are adulterers stoned in Iran? Yes. Do people show mob mentalities? Of course they do. But this movie is a disgrace at illustrating these concepts. Whoever wrote or directed this, knows scarcely of Iran's villages, because this is not how villagers speak, it's not how they relate, and not even what they wear. This isn't even how people are stoned. I mean, you can't do everything for dramatization's sake. If creating a repulsive feeling towards stoning was the goal, documented footage of the barbaric process would've worked much better, than a slow, glamorized, masochistic recreation. An insult to the intelligence.

Mo says:


  1. I just refused to see it!

  2. Actually, I had initially written as the last sentence of my short review: "Stay away." But then I thought: Who am I to tell others what not to watch? So I replaced it with "An insult to the intelligence."

    I just find it sad that Iranians use their very rare opportunities in Hollywood to create such weak, biased products that have very short expiration dates.

  3. the subject is not ignorable while the film has many errors such as the accent of 2 main actoresses and their wearings , which I thought could be because of many limitations of movie makers in our country. I do not think that if it has been made in Iran so they did not need too much exaggerating instead of better film-script. unfortunately none of these can not reject the habit of gossip, blind judgements, blind religious believes and some bugs in the rules which will not be modified unless, there are some benefites of modifiers hidden in their decision...

  4. The problem is this was filmed in the US, so there were no limitations in terms of concept or censorship for the movie. And that's what bugs me: why did they get the details so wrong? Since when does the "stonee" wear makeup? Or is allowed to take off her hijab during the process? Or has her hands tied to her back?

    When they get so many basic things wrong, the films borders on political propaganda; and that undermines the value of the movie's message.

  5. It just reminded me of the feeling I had after seeing "Never without my Daughter". Offensive to the same extent!

  6. In other words, it's political propaganda. Very sad.

  7. Stoning seems so horrific to me I cant imagine taking part in one at all. One would have to be filled with hate to throw a single stone.

    Hanging was stopped here in the 50s I think but many people want to see the death penalty reinstated here for murder, rape and terrorism. I'd rather true fiends be locked up for the rest of their lives to protect the public as well as for punishment.

  8. I guess there's two sides to the story:

    One to have the rapist/child killer/terrorist/... rot in prison - a very long rotting.


    To end their life so they would stop using my taxpayer money to stay alive.

    I would side with the second option.

  9. But it's all about revenge. People need to see that criminals suffer. There are many I would hang without a second thought but I could never see myself stone someone to death. Maybe to their severe injury though. As for the taxpayer thing, I'd scrap the UKs nuclear deterrent 1st and there would be lots of cash to build huge prisons with.