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Parcbench Interview: Cyrus Nowrasteh Part One

Posted on March 1 2010 7:00 pm
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By Chris Yogerst

Cyrus Nowrasteh is a graduate of the prestigious USC film school and is a screenwriter and director in Hollywood. Nowrasteh both wrote and directed The Day Reagan Was Shot (2001), which starred Richard Dreyfuss and was produced by Oliver Stone. He has spent decades in the industry and has been in the headlines in recent years for writing the 2006 ABC miniseries The Path to 9/11. He has also worked with Steven Spielberg and is the director of the last year’s The Stoning of Soraya M which comes out on DVD March 9th. He recently won an NAACP Image Award.

Chris Yogerst: What was your artistic inspiration for The Stoning of Soraya M?

Cyrus Nowrasteh: THE STONING OF SORAYA M. is based on a book written in 1990 by Freidoune Sahebjam, an Iranian journalist who published the book while living in exile in France. It is a powerful depiction of an actual stoning incident in a village in Iran. My wife, also a screenwriter, and I read it and were profoundly moved by the story. We both felt it could make a very strong movie that would shed light on an often overlooked problem: stoning in the Islamic Republic of Iran and other countries.

It is a powerful film and I recommend it to everyone. What made you want to tackle a difficult subject such as a barbaric stoning?

The story spoke to us and no one had ever done a film about the horrors of stoning. It seemed overdue for someone to tackle the subject and let the world know what’s going on.

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