*** SPOILER ALERT ***
After I was done watching this movie I sat and wondered if this story would have ever gotten out if the French journalist’s car had not broken down. The movie, based on a true story, stunned and horrified me. The idea that everything was in place for this tragic event to become public, only reaffirmed my belief that there were no accidents, there was a reason for everything. The year was 1986 in a small town in Iran. Journalist Freidoune Sahebjam, played by Jim Caviezel (Deja Vu, The Thin Red Line) met Zahra, played by Shohreh Aghdashloo (X-Men: The Last Stand, The Lake House), while waiting for his car to be fixed. She wanted to tell him the story about her niece Soraya, played by Mozhan Marno (Traitor, Charlie Wilson’s War). However, the town had eyes on this outsider. Despite being told by some townsmen that Zahra was crazy, Fredidoune managed to meet and listen to Zahra’s story. Told in flashback, the story was about Soraya and her husband Ali, played by Navid Negahban (Brothers, Charlie Wilson’s War). When Soraya refused Navid’s wish for a divorce so he could marry a 14 year old girl, Navid came up with a plan that would use Sharia law to solve his problem. Though I prefer to give as little information as possible in reviewing a movie, there is no getting around the fact that Soraya was to be stoned. Watching the scene was brutal for me. And just as horrific was the idea that this could still be happening to women in this day and age. I understood it was more dramatic to have a narrator tell the story in flashback; however, I had this constant feeling of dread, knowing the outcome. With all the men of the town being portrayed as evil, the story seemed a little heavy handed to me. Irregardless, I do hope you get the opportunity to see this film and hear Soraya’s story. Persian with English subtitles.
3 1/3 stars — DVD