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Marshall Fine

Marshall Fine

Posted: June 26, 2009 01:25 PM

HuffPost Review: The Stoning of Soraya M


Let's see: a movie about the cruel justice women face under Islamic Sharia law? Anyone?

How about a drama based on a true story of a woman in modern-day Iran stoned to death by her village's men, after being found guilty of adultery by a fundamentalist tribunal based on flimsy, fabricated evidence?

Please - don't all crowd around the ticket booth at once.

Even as the Iranian government has shown its contempt for both women and the idea of a free election, too much of that country - indeed, of that region - still enforces virtually tribal dictates about what women can and can't do. The burka, the chador, the honor killing, stoning - the legacy of this kind of blinkered fundamentalism is well-documented.

Director Cyrus Nowrasteh's movie, The Stoning of Soraya M, based on real events, wants to open eyes to the barbaric legal system that still allows stoning. Stoning, apparently, is cheaper and easier than lynching because a) everyone can join in and b) rocks are free.

In trying to bring focus to this practice, Nowrasteh devotes long minutes to the event itself. He not only dwells on the viscously bleeding, moaning form of the woman being punished - he lets the scene go on and on in all its shocking, gory horror.

That seems to be his signature in this torturous drama: sequences that don't know when to end.

For the rest of this review, click here to reach my website: www.hollywoodandfine.com.

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