The Stoning of Soraya

The Stoning of Soraya, directed by Cyrus Nowrosteh ★★★★★
This is a bad movie to watch late at night, as it will haunt you. It is the story of a young wife in a small village in Iran, as told through the voice of a journalist who was passing through the village. Apparently, it was based on a true story, as this story mirrors what happens many times throughout strict Muslim countries. Soraya is the mother of two young boys and two young girls, but whose husband has found her to be less than satisfactory, in spite of her hard work and virtue. He decides to get rid of her and marry another girl in a neighboring village. She takes up the job of helping to care for the children of a neighbor widower, encouraged by the town officials and holy man. Through this, the town officials and holy man assist in devising a false trumped charge of adultery. The widower is threatened with his life if he fails to assist in this plot, and so contributes to the deception of the charge of adultery, attesting that she was found lying on his bed. The final verdict was the death penalty, and all men in the village, including Soraya’s sons, throw stones. Justice is finally served when Soraya’s husband discovers that the other girl is not available to him and he is left without a wife and that the journalist brings the story to the rest of the world.
The intention of this movie is to alert the western world as to the mistreatment of women in Muslim countries. The film inadvertently portrays a much deeper evil that lurks throughout the Muslim mindset, which is unfortunately turned into a virtue by the Muslim faith. In the Judeo-Christian ethic, a person that leads to the death of another in a trial by bearing false witness is also condemned to death (Deut. 19:15-20). Integrity and truth are considered integral to religion and the worship of God. In the Muslim faith, the worship of Allah is divorced from the ethical environment. A hierarchy of values is generated whereby one evil may justify the performance of another evil. Thus, suicidal terrorist acts, the organized mistreatment of women, the debauchery that occurs in all Muslim countries are all condoned since the ends justify the means. My experience of having spent time in several Muslim countries (Bangladesh and Northern Africa) confirms this through observations of women essentially having the same social status as animals. This is not superficially observable as many Muslim men treated their wives with respect, even though they still remain second-class citizens in society. Attempts have been made to accuse Western society of demeaning women, yet, the difference is such that females are considered equal but different, contrary to a feminist ideology that considers females not only equal but not different. Either is a far cry from the Muslim world, where a female might be imprisoned for driving a car or speaking out in public.
The director of this movie did a brilliant job of character development, scene portrayal, and plot flow. It will hold you by the seat of your pants, in spite of the fact that I have just given away the plot of the movie. I highly encourage you to watch this film at your first chance.