The Stoning of Soraya M.

The Stoning of Soraya M.

Director: Cyrus Nowrasteh Cast: Shohreh Aghdashloo, Mozhan Marno, James Caviezel

DVD (Wide Screen)

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Director Cyrus Nowrasteh teams with screenwriter Betsy Giffen Nowrasteh to illuminate the dangers of religious fundamentalism, gender apartheid, and mob rule with this fictionalized adaptation of Freidoune Sahebjam's best-selling novel centering on a true-life tragedy. The story takes place in 1986, just as Khomeini is coming into power in Iran. Undercover French journalist Freidoune Sahebjam (Jim Caviezel) is traveling though a small southwestern village when his car breaks down. Surrounded by strife but left with little choice other to wait until his car is repaired, the anxious Freidoune is soon approached by persistent local Zahra (Shohreh Aghdashloo), who convinces him to follow her into the courtyard behind her home. There, she reveals to him that she has just borne witness to a most heinous crime. Just the previous day, Zahra had watched the men or her town stone an innocent woman to death. That woman was Soraya (Mozhan Marnò), long-suffering wife of abusive tyrant Ali. Soraya wed Ali in an arranged marriage, never realizing the horrors that she and her children would endure under her husband's heavy hand. When Ali requested a divorce so that he would be free to marry a 14-year-old girl, Soraya boldly refused, knowing that she and the children would most certainly starve to death without a husband to support them. Ali was too poor to return Soraya's dowry as custom dictates in a divorce, but he found another way out of the marriage. Under Shariah law, adultery is a crime punishable by death if the accused is unable to prove her innocence. Scheming with the newly installed, counterfeit mullah, Ali accused his wife of adultery. In order to ensure that she had no chance of defending herself, he blackmailed several male villagers to testify on his behalf. A tribunal was quickly called, and Soraya's fate forever sealed.

Product Details

Release Date: 03/09/2010
UPC: 0031398114291
Original Release: 2008
Rating: R
Source: Lions Gate
Region Code: 1
Presentation: [Wide Screen]
Sound: [Dolby AC-3 Surround Sound]
Time: 1:56:00
Sales rank: 11,976

Special Features

Closed Caption; Audio commentary with director and co-writer Cyrus Nowrasteh and co-writer Betsy Giffen Nowrasteh; Audio commentary with film/crew; Exclusive behind-the-scenes featurette: The making of the Stoning of Soraya M.; Theatrical trailer

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Shohreh Aghdashloo Zahra
Mozhan Marno Soraya
James Caviezel Freidoune Sahebjam
Bita Sheibani Leila
Ali Pourtash Mullah
Parviz Sayyad Hashem
David Diaan Ebrahim
Noor Al Taher Kataneh
Haya Al Taher Malaka
Khalid Khan Warden
Vida Ghahremani Mrs. Massoud
Shima Poorsadeghi Second Woman
Farzaneh Yazdani Bita
Salti Hasan Mrs. Hashem
Laila Qutub Mehri
Mizyed Azrai Reza
Talal Nabil Morcos Kamran
Abdullah Shaheen Mohsen
Vachik Mangassarian Morteza Ramazani
Shukreyeh Thijeel Mourning Woman
Fadela Rashem Mourning Woman
Sabiha Faleh Mourning Woman
Zoro Shaswar Ali's Friend
Jalal Zadhaley Ali's Friend
Arash Kaftoesian Ali's Friend
Yousef Shwieyhat Ringmaster
Rami Hamati Circus Boy
Fadi Hamati Circus Boy

Technical Credits
Cyrus Nowrasteh Director,Screenwriter
Jane Anderson Costumes/Costume Designer
Deborah Aquila Casting,Co-producer
Rider Bas Executive Producer
Dennis L. Baxter Sound/Sound Designer
Todd Burns Co-producer
John Debney Score Composer
David Handman Editor
Diane Hendricks Executive Producer
Stephen McEveety Producer
Betsy Giffen Nowrasteh Screenwriter
Thomas J. Papa Executive Producer
Joel Ransom Cinematographer
Judy Rhee Production Designer
Geoffrey Rowland Editor
John Shepherd Producer
Jennifer Smith Casting
Christien Tinsley Makeup Special Effects
Tricia Wood Casting

Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Stoning of Soraya M.
1. Bones [9:52]
2. Did Anybody See You? [5:28]
3. God Willing [7:48]
4. You Shamed Me [8:38]
5. Somewhere Safe [9:45]
6. Gossip [7:37]
7. Betrayal [6:51]
8. Straight Answer [8:30]
9. A Meeting [5:55]
10. Preparation [7:35]
11. A Sign [4:18]
12. How Can You Do This? [1:59]
13. I'll Take Care of It [4:44]
14. Angels [:58]
15. The World Will Know [9:39]
16. End Credits [4:08]

Customer Reviews

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The Stoning of Soraya M. 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
***WARNING: THIS MOVIE IS VERY GRAPHIC! *** I grabbed this movie off the shelf one day on a whim and was completely blown away by what I saw. If the story line for some ungodly reason doesn't move you, the visual presentation will! The visual editor did not hold back and this movie is NOT for the "faint of heart". You are guaranteed to walk away after viewing this movie feeling about 20 different emotions. I highly recommend it if you are a fan of the "Passion of the Christ". this movie is a keeper. Your mindset about female equality won't be the same after seeing it.
CYWI More than 1 year ago
"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. Based on the descriptive title of the film, we know the outcome, which could lead one to believe that this could easily be another snuff film like The Passion of the Christ. A short build up with 90 minutes of grotesque torture. Thanks to the wonderful direction of Cyrus Nowrasteh this is not the case. While the climactic stoning itself is difficult to watch, it is less than a quarter of the film. The bulk of the film focused on giving us a sense of the people in this community and the corruption that it breeds. While keeping the actual stoning to a minimum, the film gives us an important window into an overlooked part of the world. However uncomfortable it is, we feel as if we are in this town watching the story unfold. Several people in the audience behind me could be heard uttering passionate reactions throughout. What makes Soraya M enjoyable (and even the hardest scenes bearable) is that our frustrations are released through Zahra's vocal opposition. She is an outspoken female opponent to the misogynist culture in which she resides. At one point she is told, "muzzles should be for women, not dogs." With a reaction like that we know she is saying the right things to upset the right people. The rest of the women in town are either indoctrinated into believing they are worthless or intimidated into silence. Without Zahra's presence the film would be torturous to watch. Interestingly, by doing a simple search on the Internet I was able to find an awkward amount of reviews unfairly criticizing this film as either anti-Iranian propaganda or a manipulative melodrama. The people who believe this must be the same who subscribe to the idea that &quo
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The story covers a sad but true continuing practice. I have seen this video hold a variety of viewers attention, several who were positive they would not enjoy the work. This could be used in higher level academia.
MarkTapson More than 1 year ago
I can guarantee that this will be one of the most powerful, riveting, important films you've ever seen or ever will see. I know people who have told me their lives were literally changed by it. DO NOT be put off by what you may think is the gruesomeness of the subject matter; yes, this compelling tale is horrifying (though not as horrifying as the reality of stoning), but is also surprisingly uplifting and even laced with moments of beauty. I promise that you will not regret owning this film. The direction by screenwriter/director Cyrus Nowrasteh is outstanding and the acting is Oscar-worthy throughout - and not just by its star Shohreh Aghdashloo (who plays Soraya's aunt) or Mozhan Marno (Soraya). Navid Negahban is one of the all-time best cinematic bad guys as Soraya's ruthless husband. This is based on a true story that took place in the decade or so after the Khomeini revolution in Iran in 1979, but astonishing as it may be to believe, stonings still take place there despite an ostensible 2002 "moratorium" - just as they continue to take place in other places where sharia law rules: Nigeria, Somalia, Indonesia, etc. So this movie is more timely and necessary than ever. Don't miss it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago