The Stoning of Soraya M” is an Iranian movie I watched with my zonemates as part of our ‘Leadership Curriculum’ on Social Injustice. The 2008 movie is directed by Cyrus Nowrasteh, inspired by a French journalist Freidoune Sahebjam’s 1990 book La Femme Lapidée, based on a true event that happened in Iran in 1986.
The film portrays the violation of Human Rights in Iran. As a matter of fact, the Iranian legislation does not accord same rights to the women as to its men. It is stated in legislation itself that the value of a woman’s life is half that of a man, that the testimony of a male witness is equivalent to that of two female witnesses, etc. It was the book that garnered the world’s attention to the gender issues and blatant violation of human rights in Iran.
The film portrays the true story of the murder of an Iranian mother and homemaker Soraya, who is falsely accused of adultery and thereby stoned to death. The depiction of a patriarchal society is hard hitting to the core. The film reminded me of a few of the undemocratic and heinous Khap Panchayat verdicts that made news in India in the recent times. It seems like all patriarchal societies have similar stories to tell, irrespective of whether it is supported by the legislation or not, stories of male supremacy ending up in infringement of basic human rights.

Insights:

1) A mob is driven by emotions, rather than thoughts or reasons.

2) For any crime committed, the society (embedded with patriarchal notions) itself provides a man the opportunity to come out of it, but not a woman.

3) Religion is exploited by the people in power in the most profane and shocking way. That continues till today, irrespective of the nations or the societies.

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Watch the movie here: https://youtu.be/NdDpXXvXZNw

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