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Tapson at Big Hollywood: The Defiant Soraya

Posted on January 14 2010 11:03 am
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Revolution in Iran: ‘Soraya’s’ Message of Defiance an Underground Hit

by Mark Tapson

While audiences in America flock to the escapist eye candy known as Avatar, it’s sobering to realize that in the real world, far away from James Cameron’s utopian dreamscape and the cozy cocoons of our multiplex theaters, another film’s message of defiance is helping to fuel revolution against a repressive regime.


The Stoning of Soraya M., from writer-director Cyrus Nowrasteh and Mpower Pictures, tells the true story of a woman in a remote Iranian village in the wake of the fundamentalist revolution of 1979, who is falsely accused of adultery and then stoned to death by a mob desperate to cleanse themselves of this rumored affront to their collective honor and to their religion. It’s not only a gripping story in its own right, but it also focuses a harsh spotlight on the shocking reality that stoning still exists in the Iranian penal code. The movie has been reviewed and written about many times on Big Hollywood, as well as listed among the site’s 10 best movies of 2009. (Look for it on DVD from Lion’s Gate in March)

Despite official condemnation of the film in Iran and a government clampdown on cell phone and Internet traffic as the country wrestles with revolution, word is getting out from sources close to the filmmakers that bootleg DVDs of The Stoning of Soraya M. are being shared secretly by Iranian citizens and shown in private homes in Tehran, Shiraz, Isfahan, and elsewhere. These sources must be kept anonymous, of course, since arrested protesters there have an unfortunate tendency to be allegedly raped and allegedly tortured, if not allegedly killed.

Read the Rest at Big Hollywood

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