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The Stoning of Soraya M.
(.سنگسار ثريا م)

American theatrical release poster
Directed by Cyrus Nowrasteh
Produced by Stephen McEveety
John Shepherd
Todd Burns
Written by Novel
Freidoune Sahebjam
Betsy Giffen Nowrasteh
Cyrus Nowrasteh
Starring Mozhan Marnò
Shohreh Aghdashloo
James Caviezel
Music by John Debney
Cinematography Joel Ransom
Editing by David Handman
Geoffrey Rowland
Distributed by Mpower Pictures
Release date(s) September 7, 2008 (Toronto Film Festival)
June 26, 2009 (U.S.)
Running time 116 min.
Country United States
Language English
Gross revenue $636,246 (USA)[1]

The Stoning of Soraya M. (Persian: .سنگسار ثريا م) is a 2008 American drama film adapted from French-Iranian journalist Freidoune Sahebjam's 1994 book of the same name based on a true story. The film is directed by Cyrus Nowrasteh and stars Academy Award nominee Shohreh Aghdashloo, as well as James Caviezel and Mozhan Marnò. Stoning had its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival, where it was the runner-up for the Audience Choice Award. It was also the second runner-up for the Cadillac People's Choice Award. The book has been banned in Iran because of its perceived critical attitude toward the Iranian legal system.[2]



Stranded in a remote Iranian village, Sahebjam is approached by Zahra, a woman with a harrowing tale to tell about her niece, Soraya, and the bloody circumstances of her death the day before. Her story attempts to expose what it perceives as the inhumanity of Sharia Law. Her last and only hope for justice lies in the hands of the journalist, who must escape with the story - and his life - in order to communicate the violence to the world.


The international bestseller book tells the true story of one of the victims of stonings in modern Iran. Soraya M.'s husband Ghorban-Ali was an ambitious man, prone to rage with a lust for power. He wanted a way out of his marriage in order to marry a 14 year old girl but did not want to support two families or return Soraya's dowry.[3] When Soraya began cooking for a friend's widowed husband, he found his excuse: abetted by village authorities, he accused his wife of adultery. She was taken away, buried up to her waist, and then stoned to death.


The son of a former Iranian ambassador, French-Iranian journalist and war correspondent Freidoune Sahebjam was the first to report on the crimes of the Iranian government against the Bahá'í community in Iran.[4] He was traveling through Iran, when he came upon Soraya's village, where he learned about Soraya and her cruel fate from her aunt.[5]


Box office

The Stoning of Soraya M. opened at #32 at the US box office in 27 theaters, grossing $115,053 in the opening weekend. As of August 30, its domestic grossing is $636,246.[6]


Award Category Recipients and nominees Outcome
Flanders International Film Festival Canvas Audience Award - Won
Gran Prix - Best Film Cyrus Nowrasteh Nominated
Heartland Film Festival Heartland Truly Moving Picture Award Cyrus Nowrasteh Won
Los Angeles Film Festival Audience Award for Best Narrative Feature Cyrus Nowrasteh Won
Satellite Awards Best Motion Picture, Drama - Nominated
Best Actress in a Motion Picture, Drama Shohreh Aghdashloo Won
Best Actress in a Supporting Role Mozhan Marnò Nominated
Toronto International Film Festival Runner Up Audience Choice Award Cyrus Nowrasteh Won

See also


  1. ^
  2. ^ Oliver, Christian. Street Slang Proves Big Hit with Book Lovers, Reuters. Accessed March 10, 2010.
  3. ^ The Stoning of Soraya M.
  4. ^ Tuesday 9 Stoning of Soraya M.: Fighting for Justice
  5. ^ 'The Stoning of Soraya M.'
  6. ^

External links



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