Cyrus Nowrasteh, director and co-writer of “The Stoning of Soraya M.,” recently sat down to talk with Loyola Marymount University’s KXLU radio station.
Adapted from the novel by Freidoune Sahebjam, “The Stoning of Soraya M.,” starring Jim Caviezel and Academy Award nominee Shohreh Aghdashloo, is a true story about a woman stoned to death after being accused of adultery in Iran.
“The actual incident occurred in 1986,” Nowrasteh said, “But stonings continue. Someone was just stoned [in May] in Iran. There are eight women and one man on death row who have been sentenced to death by stoning according to Amnesty International. This movie is very pertinent to today.”
Nowrasteh was born in Boulder, Colo., to Iranian parents and lived in Iran as a young boy. He read “The Stoning of Soraya M.” with his wife, screenplay co-writer Betsy Giffen Nowrasteh, in 1994 but didn’t think the time was right to make it into a film. After completing a docudrama in 2006 about the events that led to the Sept. 11 attacks, the couple decided to pursue the rights to ”Soraya M.,” authorizing them to pen the screenplay.
After securing financing, the film was shot in 30 days in the Middle East. Nowrasteh told radio host Mark Gordon ’93 that the reception to the film has largely been warm.
“No one has ever done a movie about stoning. I want the audience to feel like they have witnessed an emotional, heartbreaking movie. But I also want them to come out more motivated on why it’s important that [stoning] is stopped … the injustice here is so profound it’s shocking. It just has to stop.”
The film’s Web site http://TheStoning.com
contains links to social justice groups focused on ending stoning in countries such as Iran.
To view a trailer for the film, visit: http://TheStoning.com