GPICT - Independence Day Edition, Part II.
Go see ‘The Stoning of Soraya M.’
Based on a true story.
Stranded in a remote Iranian village, a French journalist is approached by Zahra, a woman who has a harrowing tale to tell about her niece, Soraya, and the bloody circumstances of her death the day before…As the journalist turns on his tape recorder, Zahra takes us back to the beginning of her story which involves Soraya’s husband, the local phony mullah, and a town all too easily led down a path of deceit, coercion, and hysteria. The women, stripped of all rights and without recourse, nobly confront the overwhelming desires of corrupt men who use and abuse their authority to condemn Soraya, an innocent but inconvenient wife, to an unjust and torturous death. A shocking and true drama, it exposes the dark power of mob rule, uncivil law, and the utter lack of human rights for women. The last and only hope for some measure of justice lies in the hands of the journalist who must escape with the story — and his life — so the world will know.
If you haven’t seen it, you may have heard how “graphic” and “shocking” it is.
But what really is an anvil to the chest is how bound women are in protecting themselves against the flaws of human nature. I don’t think a lot of modern women of my age worry for their lives just for smiling at the neighbor who’s kid they were babysitting.
This leaves you ringing. It’s nothing new to anyone inclined towards these types of films, be it Hotel Rwanda or Born Into Brothels you’re always left staring at your hands, what can you do.
I leave you with this. Be aware. Listening is an act of love. Once, in this country when we condoned slavery, Frederick Douglass said he gained his freedom when he learned to read, because no one could lie to him any longer. Eventually he turned that into a lifetime of work of writing and speaking out against slavery. Awareness becomes action.
Essentially, Soraya’s story is still being spread with everyone who hears or sees it. I heard someone the other day regarding Michael Jackson “dying in the information age.” Look at Iran. Let us be aware.
- Mercy Bell
Go see it. GET SQUEAMISH. As shocking as it is to watch, just imagine what it’s like TO BE STONED TO DEATH. How trapped you must feel as a woman with no education who lives under the thumb of an oppressive husband. Who couldn’t run away in the night with her children if she wanted because she never learned how to drive. While most of us don’t have to think or worry about it, that this still happens in some corners of the world should move us all. It’s not OK. It’s 2009. The least you can do is sit in a theater for two hours.
A culture [i.e., Western] that gave the world the novel; the music of Mozart, Beethoven, and Schubert; and the paintings of Michelangelo, da Vinci, and Rembrandt does not need lessons from societies whose idea of heaven, peopled with female virgins, resembles a cosmic brothel. Nor does the West need lectures on the superior virtue of societies in which women are kept in subjection under sharia, endure genital mutilation, are stoned to death for alleged adultery, and are married off against their will at the age of nine; societies that deny the rights of supposedly lower castes; societies that execute homosexuals and apostates. The West has no use for sanctimonious homilies from societies that cannot provide clean drinking water or sewage systems, that make no provisions for the handicapped, and that leave 40 to 50 percent of their citizens illiterate.
- Ibn Warraq