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In addition to creating conversation about the power of images, Labragirl Pictures is dedicated to bringing lost voices and histories to the silver screen. Consequently, all of the films that we are currently working on bring new perspectives, lesser known stories, or ignored voices to cinematic life. So, in this series of “Lost Voices” blog posts, we will talk about films that explore untold stories or that introduce new perspectives.

Let’s talk film!

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The Stoning of Soraya M., 2008

{Warning: This blog post contains movie spoilers.}

Based on a true story, The Stoning of Soraya M. was adapted from the book La femme lapidé by Iranian—French journalist Freidoune Sahebjam. Sahebjam’s book was also published in English as: The Stoning of Soraya M.: A Story of Injustice in Iran.

{Click on image for source info.}

Have you seen The Stoning of Soraya M.?

What do you think about it?

This film tells the story of an Iranian woman who was unjustly stoned to death in 1986. This movie provides an intimate look into a small, remote Iranian village – exploring customs, morals, and social norms. Additionally, visual life and sound are given to the women in this town—women who have been otherwise silenced.

The Stoning of Soraya M. Official Trailer

Perhaps most disturbing in this movie is the 20+ minute stoning scene. It’s real, brutal, and visually intense. What makes this sequence so disturbing is also what seems to give the story and the characters in this film stronger voices. If the filmmakers had chosen to allude to the stoning, rather than recreate the execution, then maybe the story wouldn’t be as shocking.

A still from the film’s stoning scene. {Source: http://dianiko.wordpress.com/2010/05/24/the-stoning-of-soraya-m/}

If the stoning scene were shorter then maybe the slow and painful process of stoning would not seem as violent or tragic. Or, maybe if the stoning was filmed from a distance rather than with a series of close-up images, the reality of the situation wouldn’t be as powerful.

What do you think about these images?

Would this movie had been the same without such a prolonged and unapologetic stoning scene?

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