The Stoning of Soraya M.

The Stoning of Soraya M. is a difficult film to watch, but worth taking the time to do so. The film, which several CEI colleagues and I saw at a preview screening last night, depicts the stoning death of a young Iranian woman falsely accused of adultery. It highlights the outrage that the barbaric practice of stoning continues to occur anywhere, but at times does more than that.

The film illustrates the way in which a closed, illiberal society can close in on an individual, ultimately taking away his or her very life and personhood. As in this instance, death by stoning is often the result of religious fanaticism, but the dehumanization and ultimate destruction of the victim depicted in the film can also take place in totalitarian systems devoted to some other allegedly higher ideal — the workers’ revolution, the Volk — which rulers place above the sanctity of the individual.

It opens June 26. For theaters, see here.