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The Stoning of Soraya M (2009)

Mozhan MarnÚ , Shohreh Aghdashloo , Cyrus Nowrasteh  |  R |  DVD
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (222 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Mozhan MarnÚ, Shohreh Aghdashloo, James Caviezel, Navid Negahban, Ali Pourtash
  • Directors: Cyrus Nowrasteh
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Widescreen, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, NTSC
  • Language: Farsi
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Lions Gate
  • DVD Release Date: March 9, 2010
  • Run Time: 114 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (222 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0031DDGA4
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #22,892 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Stoning of Soraya M" on IMDb

Special Features

- “The Making of The Stoning of Saraya M.” documentary
- Audio commentary with Director and co-writer Cyrus Nowrasteh and co-writer Betsy Giffen Nowrasteh
- Audio commentary with line producer Stephen A. Marinaccio II, production designer Judy Rhee, costume designer Jane Anderson and costume supervisor Sierra Robinson
- Theatrical trailer

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

In the most powerful motion pictures, the message tends to be embedded so deeply that it isn't always apparent at first glance. In The Stoning of Soraya M., the point of the project--to bring a heinous cultural practice to light--drowns out all other concerns. The film is based on Iranian journalist Freidoune Sahebjam’s international bestselling non-fiction book of the same title. Sahebjam (played by Jim Caviezel, in a framing device) stumbles across the story in 1986 when his car breaks down in a remote Iranian village and he meets Zahra (House of Sand and Fog's Shohreh Aghdashloo), who begs him to tell the world what happened to her niece, Soraya. After 21 years of marriage, Soraya's abusive husband, Ali, falls in love with a 14-year-old, but Soraya (Mozhan Marnò) resists divorce for fear he'll leave her penniless, so Ali falsely accuses her of infidelity, convinces the town elders to get on board, and the mayor sentences her to death by stoning. Though Cyrus Nowrasteh directs, The Passion of the Christ producer Steven McEveety's guiding hand is keenly felt as a blameless individual must suffer for the sins of others, but the film would generate more sympathy and outrage if the characters registered as vividly as the message (see Silkwood for a superior example of character-based outrage). The actors, including Caviezel--affecting a passable accent--invest their mono-dimensional roles with conviction, but this literary adaptation would've worked better as a documentary that examines the history of honor killings, including the legal and political repercussions. --Kathleen C. Fennessy

Product Description

From a producer of THE PASSION OF THE CHRIST comes this chilling true story. Academy Award® nominee Shorheh Aghdashloo stars as Zahra, a woman with a burning secret. When a journalist (Jim Caviezel) is stranded in her remote village, Zahra takes a bold chance to reveal what the villagers will stop at nothing to hide. Thus begins the story of Soraya (Mozhan Marnò), a kind woman whose cruel, divorce- seeking husband trumps up false charges of infidelity against her, which carry an unimaginable penalty. Soraya and Zahra attempt to navigate the villagers’ scheming, lies and deceit to prove her innocence. But when all else fails, Zahra must risk everything to use the only weapon she has left – her voice – to share Soraya's shocking story with the world.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
113 of 118 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, it shows what stoning really is June 28, 2009
By Paul
This is a very well acted and compelling movie. I've seen videos of real life stonings, and although somewhat cleaned up, this movie gives a realistic face to the act.

The actors do an exceptional job at portraying the characters. Shohreh conveys with a single look, what other actress's take sentences to do. That's a real feat considering I had to read the words in subtitles at the same time!

The movie also shows what a mob mentality really is. What pressure and teaching can compel a son to do to his mother...it shows what strength really is- not being the hero like in most movies, but in what it takes in the real world, to simply speak the truth. A strength that most people don't have.

As cleaned up as it is (the movie does not deal with the underlining condoning of stoning in Islam such Muhammad demanding it in his famous confrontation with the Jews according to Ibn Ishaq, 257 and Bukhari vol 4 book 61, no. 3635- they are his first biographer, and a collector off traditions Muslims themselves consider reliable)-This movie does however show a present day reality that I fear most viewers won't have the strength to really see.

Watch this movie, and then watch how few people are even willing to talk about the subjects it brings up- how many excuses and side steps people will take, rather than confront the reality that this movie throws in your face.

It is one of the few movies that show human nature- the good, the bad and the ugly. From looters, to the ones who confront them. This movie does more in the side plots showing human psychology, than most other movies that try to protray it as a main subject matter.

In short, this is a must see, if nothing else to better understand a dark side of the world.
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51 of 52 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent and unforgettable. March 18, 2010
Format:Blu-ray|Verified Purchase
Like many an excellent film, this one is difficult to watch, but well worth it. It is a fine film that should be supported, and circulated, and admired. It derives it's power from its clear and shocking narrative and from the outstanding performances of its cast, and its unsparing attention to the suffering of Soraya M. who is stoned to death in her village in Iran. The fact that people are being stoned today in a number of countries is as horrifying as it is true. What can we do to stop this barbaric practice? What can we do to support the women in these countries who cannot defend themselves against laws that denigrate their value and impose upon them unfair standards for their defense in criminal proceedings? --- This is a brave film for focusing on one such case, and the egregious cruelty heaped on the victim. And it leaves the viewer wondering what a stoning means for all the people of a village who participate in it, including children who gather the stones. Whatever one thinks about these basic questions, one can be assured that this is first and foremost a good movie, with high productions standards --- worth seeing, worth owning, worth passing on to others. Highly recommended.
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51 of 54 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Spellbinding and Compelling July 9, 2009
By Kale
This movie is a must see and one of the best movies I have seen in a long, long time.

The direction is fabulous and makes one feels that he is standing next to the movie characters. The acting is great, the casting superb, the location and costumes are true. It was 100% great.

It stirred emotions to my core and my mind raced during the film. The subtlety of the acting made the horrific event all the more compelling. The actual stoning made me feel as if in the crowd and then, suddenly, I was Soraya. It was unbelievable.

The acting is superb and real. I think all must see this movie so all will know how extremism can be deadly whether in faith or in laws. The whole world should see this movie.

Too bad it's not showing in mainstream theaters.
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33 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent film with a very important message! January 14, 2010
Format:Blu-ray
"The Stoning of Soraya M." is a must see film on all levels. This film is even more stunning on Blu-ray high definition and will leave you speechless. Tastefully done, director Cyrus Nowrasteh has made one of the most important films ever to be made about the inequalities in the Middle East.

[...]

Freidoune Sahebjam, a French-Iranian journalist (played in film by Jim Caviezel), wrote The Stoning of Soraya M which is based on his own experience of being forced to stop in a remote Iranian village after his car broke down. He was one of the first to report on the troubles in the Bahá'í Faith community in Iran.

While waiting for his broken car to be fixed, Freidoune is approached by Zahra (Shohreh Aghdashloo) who is the aunt of Soraya. Zahra notices that Freidoune has a tape recorder and asks to speak with him. The townspeople assure him that she is crazy but he humors her anyway. Once the recorder is placed on the table, Zahra begins telling her nightmarish story.

Soraya (played by the beautiful Mozhan Marnò) is a married mother of three in the film (six in real life). Needless to say her plate is full. Her unfaithful husband Ali (Navid Negahban) has fallen for another woman and doesn't want to wait for a timely divorce. He decides to find the quickest way to get rid of her and cooks up a dishonest scheme to get Soraya convicted of adultery, a crime punishable by death in their twisted culture.

Ali, with the help of others, takes advantage of a vulnerable local mechanic (Ebrahim, played by David Diaan) whose wife has just died. They offer to pay Soraya to cook for Ebrahim and take care of his children while he is working. This provided "legitimate" grounds to pressure other men to be witnesses for the prosecution.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great movie. It represents the pain and suffering of women in different levels in different places.
Published 5 days ago by Subhan Williams
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Excellent
Published 7 days ago by Thresa Lynn Cook
5.0 out of 5 stars I loved this one because it is a true story
I loved this one because it is a true story. I can't help but feel for this woman falsely accused by her spouse, to achieve his desires. The horrific tale of spousal abuse. Read more
Published 9 days ago by Humble
4.0 out of 5 stars There is no reason to say this is enjoyable. ...
There is no reason to say this is enjoyable. It is a true story and has been around the indie film business for a while. Read more
Published 11 days ago by Jeanne Major
5.0 out of 5 stars True and hard to watch. Superb acting.
I must say this was very difficult for me to watch.
A very dark story, but the acting was superb. Read more
Published 16 days ago by Mona Lisa
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Exelent message to the world.
Published 18 days ago by Alfredo Lezama
5.0 out of 5 stars "Religion of peace" enforcing Sharia dishonestly.
Just finished watching this movie....
If you could call it that....
It was more of a testimony to the sinfulness of man.... Read more
Published 19 days ago by JTB 1:23
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
A must see but difficult to watch movie.
Published 23 days ago by Keith Olson
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Movie
This movie made me cry. So good. And so sad.
Published 27 days ago by J. Cooper
5.0 out of 5 stars Middle Eastern women do need Saving from brutal inequality!!
Its sad to see how women are treated in the Middle East under the rule of Male-dominance.
Soraya m is a beautiful and honest lady that has so much potiental, but her vicious... Read more
Published 29 days ago by Senor Hammoud
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