Some weeks ago fellow blogger Glenn (“glnroz” at “Differences with the Same Likeness”) suggested to his readers that they see “The Stoning of Soraya M.” The film is adapted from a book by Freidoune Sahebjam, a French-Iranian journalist. Both are based on Sahebjam’s experience of being made aware, while he was in Iran, of the story of a woman whose husband accused her of adultery so that he could be rid of her to marry another. The shamed wife was stoned to death. If you’re thinking this was something that occurred long ago, you’re mistaken. The stoning took place in recent years. Stoning. As in pelting a woman with stones until she dies of her injuries.
There’s no enjoyable evening of movie watching and popcorn to be had here. Only the naked truth of a culture which continues, in modern times, to brutalize and oppress women.
I knew well what the film was about before I watched it, having heard it reviewed. And yes, I knew it would be difficult to watch. But some things are necessary. I said as much after the release of “Hotel Rwanda,” and I encouraged my friends to see it. Most didn’t, and those who did see it let me know, for the most part, that they didn’t appreciate the experience. Still….
I think at times our own sense of privilege causes us to take for granted the suffering in the rest of the world. It’s difficult to appreciate the fight for freedom and justice if we don’t allow ourselves to become enraged at the injustices practiced daily outside our borders.
For that reason, Dear Reader, I would suggest that you take the hand of someone beloved and try, if you can, to appreciate a form of art that offers not beauty or entertainment, but simply truth.