Tuesday, August 17, 2010

The Stoning of Saroya M.

This movie is shocking.  It's surreal to think that in modern times women may be stoned for adultery.  The Stoning of Saroya M. is based on the true story of Saroya, who lived in a village in Iran.  Her husband had tired of her, and kept a mistress, but Saroya would not agree to a divorce.  He falsely accused her of adultery, convinced others in the village to lie and corroborate his story, and had her tried and sentenced.  Saroya's husband and sons were among those who threw the stones.
The story was uncovered when Freidoune, a journalist, met Saroya's aunt, who bravely tells him the whole story.  Although she was helpless to prevent the horrible injustice, through Freidoune she exposed the villagers' crime.  Even though the very title of the movie gives away the ending, the tension throughout the film kept me on the edge of my seat and caused my blood to boil against the mindset, religion, and system which made the inevitable possible.

The powerful performances and the portrayal of life in Iran make this well worth seeing.

Bottom line, 3 stars

Postscript: Even though this movie is set in the 80s, and much has happened in that part of the world, stoning remains an issue.  I read in this morning's paper of a married man and his unmarried lover in northern Afghanistan stoned to death for adultery.  At least they were consistent and stoned the man and the woman, instead of just the woman.  This was officially condemned by the government, but it demontrates the Taliban's power and lack of commitment to human rights.

No comments: