15 April 2010

Based on a true story.

Today in my Islam and the West class we watched the movie, The Stoning of Soraya M., it is literally the saddest movie I've ever seen! I was bawling in class for probably the last thirty minutes of the movie, I was just appalled and so distraught by the cruelty of people in the world.
Movie spoiler: Soraya M. gets stoned to death...ok so maybe a bit obvious from the title, but there are parts of the movie when the audience has hope for her salvation. A fast preview of the movie: it takes place in a small, rural village in Iran where a woman, Soraya M., is accused by her husband to be an adulteress for the sole reason that he wants to take a new wife and Soraya won't get a divorce. The law in this village states that a women convicted of adultery is to be stoned to death. So the husband gets another man to give false testimony against Soraya and she is sentenced to death by stoning. Then you watch the stoning happen. You watch her father, her husband, even her own sons, as well as the entire town, throw stones at her face and body until she bleeds to death in the dirt.
I started crying just at the thought of her own family throwing stones at her and then her husband throws the first stone that hits her and blood starts pouring from her forehead. The town mullah (Islamic priest) throws the next one and then her two young sons, not more than 10 and 12 years old, throw stones at their own mother. Needless to say, I was convulsing in my sobbing at this point.
It's kind of embarrassing to be crying my eyes out in a class at school, but I don't think I could have reacted any less forcefully. It was just so terrible to see these people brutally murder a woman who did nothing wrong. The movie in general made me angry from the beginning, just by how the women were treated by the men, as if they were property and the men had 100% control over them. I'm not one to be a feminist, but injustice and corruption really bother me, no matter what the case is! The whole thing happened because of a selfish desire from one man and he got his way because he knew how to black mail people.
I got out of class and I was still in tears. I sat down and I just thanked God over and over again for the privileged life that I have. I am so lucky to be able to get an education, live in a beautiful place, be surrounded by caring people, be protected by my government and to have rights. Today I was happy for the most trivial and cliche things, but it's those things that we take advantage of and don't realize how much they matter in our lives, that we would hate the most to lose. Life is beautiful and if you live in a place where you feel safe and loved, you are lucky. Not everyone has that luxury.

So, make the next movie you watch The Stoning of Soraya M., be prepared to cry and feel a little drained afterward, but it's worth it and I think it's something everyone should know about.

P.S.- It's based on a true story.

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