Stoning of Soraya M., The

MPAA Rating: R

Entertainment: +3

Content: -3

Shohreh Aghdashloo, Mozhan Marno, Jim Caviezel. Drama. Written by Betsy Griffen Nowrasteh, Cyrus Nowrasteh. Directed by Cyrus Nowrasteh.

PREVIEW REVIEW: Mostly we like to attend movies to escape reality, to be entertained or just to get out of the house. But just as films can amuse or nurture the spirit of man, occasionally they can also teach, remind and rally. Those are the purposes of producer Stephen McEveety (The Passion of the Christ). Featuring a dynamic cast that includes Jim Caviezel (Jesus in The Passion of the Christ), who obviously took the part in order to champion the film’s cause, Shohreh Aghdashloo (Academy Award nominee for House of Sand and Fog), and Mozhan Marno (as Soraya), the project spotlights oppression and social injustice that boggles the mind. While some in America struggle to get equal rights for endangered owls, there are places on this planet where human rights are trampled upon, where the lives of others are considered cheap by those with self-promoting agenda.

Based on a true story, the drama tells of an Iranian woman, a good mother and wife, who finds that a deceptive man can ruin, even destroy a life, in order to get what he wants. Her husband is a philanderer, now desiring a new wife, a child bride. His lust defines his character, as he uses innuendo and deceit in order to get the town to turn on his wife. He proclaims her to be an adulteress, knowing the religious law with find her guilty and stone her to death.

The film is brutal in nature and in imagery – brutal in that it shows how some people will do anything to lift themselves up, including the defamation of another. And as the title warns, we will witness the ritual of public stoning. As in The Passion of the Christ, the filmmakers spare no detail in the execution scene. Indeed, the final shot of the dead woman is as bloody as the body of Christ in Mel Gibson’s Passion. It is not a scene for children or young teens. This may raise the question, why is it suitable for adults?

Sometimes imagery is needed to send the most poignant and urgent of messages. And as the man once said, the first step in any battle is to be informed. Sometimes for outrage to turn into action, truth in all its goriness must be witnessed. This makes The Stoning of Soraya M. an important, if somewhat unpleasant movie-going experience.

Another reason for seeing this film is the reminder of how blessed we are to live in America. Though traditional values are under attack and our business and political leaders may be taking us down a destructive road to hedonism and idolatry, as yet we don’t glorify the destruction of one person in order to lift up another. Come to think of it, that cherished characteristic may be under fire in America, as well. So, maybe this film is not just a depiction of Islamic fascists, but also a warning that the new world order of secularism may soon lead to the same destruction of a nation.

The Stoning of Soraya M. will unnerve and disgust, but it will reveal crimes that remind us that true evil exists and threatens to destroy the soul of man.

For more information concerning the film go to Commit to buying out a screening of the film opening weekend and Jim Caviezel will tape a personalized greeting to you and your congregation for you to play in your church. There are also free ministry resource materials such as a Bible study guide, sermon outlines, special film clips and group ticket sales available at that site.

Preview Reviewer: Phil Boatwright
Roadside Pictures/Mpower Pictures

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: None

Obscene Language: An evil man calls his wife obscene names and three or four uses of the s-word.

Profanity: False witnessing in the name of God

Violence: A realistic depiction of the stoning to death of an innocent woman. Blood: The death scene becomes very bloody – this is not for children or the squeamish.

Sex: None

Nudity: None

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: None

Drugs: None

Other: None

Running Time: 120 minutes
Intended Audience: Adults

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