The story of Soraya M. brings light to world were a women’s voice is not heard. When viewing this film one must think of women in our own lives, what value we put on our loved ones as the value we put on one self. Assuming you have seen the movie, read the novel, I will give a brief summary of a witness account to an unspeakable injustice of an innocent woman, as I would like to focus this paper on the underlying issues such as religion, culture, tradition, customs, authority, betrayal and injustice.
It all seemed to be unreal of a dreadful tale being told by a woman in regards to how her niece faced brutal and inhumane death by stoning the day before. The conversation was recorded by a tape recorder, to which was sent for the rest of the world to know. In a brief summary of the events that occurred in a small Iranian village by the name of Kuhpayeh. The story is being passed down to a journalist who at the time was held at the village due to car problems.
Ali was working at a jail at the time, as one of the prisoners was put for death row he made a deal of assisting him if and only, he would be able to marry his daughter for lust and heritage. Ali who was married to a woman named Soraya which he then found his escape by accusing her of denying him and not providing as he pleased. Through many disagreements Soraya would not follow with what Ali craved. Ali then blacked mailed the Mullah, saying if he did not convince Soraya to give him the divorce he would spread the truth behind his dishonorable acts as a former guard.
The Mullah then put up an offer to support Soraya in exchange for sexual favors but was denied, Soraya then agreed to work for a widower in return for compensation as she thought that would be her opportunity to support herself and two daughters. As an advantage Ali used the circumstances to spread out lies about Soraya being unfaithful to him. Soon after, rumors spread out and Soraya was accused of adultery which punishment meant being sentenced to death by stoning. Soraya was then stoned to death by her father, husband, sons, and the crowd.
The following day the people were informed that Ali’s marriage was put down, all that was done had no cause. The widower then admitted his dishonesty about the adultery and was forced to lie. The story of a death innocent woman was given to the journalist by her loyal aunt to be testimony to the world for the injustice that has been committed. The story is not only depicting the unfair and cruel events that happened to an innocent women but the reason as to why it was carried out. How could the court system fail with such blindness and corruption?
Let us begin with the point of view a woman has in that society, as mentioned in film, the woman must conform to feeding the needs of their husband regardless of what they feel. Men held much value in themselves which was mandatory to women to enhance such worth in men. An example in the film would be when the oldest son disrespectfully knocks over a beverage in retribution of his mother talking back to his father. The father replied “this is a man’s world”, what affect this had on the boy and how this mold would him into the man he would become.
Should he back from his moral standings and accept his role as a man in that society, what is right what is wrong according to them when dealing with the value of a woman, even one’s own mother? As Soraya gave the message, that a woman without her husband was of no worth, gave her reason to not give Ali the divorce. She feared that once Ali left them she would not have a firm base to support her two daughters, since her husband only wanted to keep the boys. How people manipulate religion and customs to convince the mass to gain personal goals, how many centuries has this occurred, how many innocent people were sacrificed for greed and lust?
Even Soraya mentioned that her father would be present during the court hearing and that she felt he would follow the mass rather than stand up for her. When she was young she was sold to a man to work in which she mentioned everything was done to her except intercourse, she did not want that life for her two daughters. She requested to her aunt that her daughters must know the truth of what had happened to their mother so that they would not be ashamed of her. Many societies to this day hold their people to old customs and beliefs; this could be viewed as respected to their ancestors but could be also viewed as a barrier to evolving.
Should people still hold public hangings, should thieves get their hands cut off? To what extent should the old custom be hold accountable to? Stoning was known as the Penal Code a form of capital punishment in Iran. Stoning punishments were carried out for adultery. By tradition up first was Soraya’s father whom at stand disowned her “she no longer is my daughter, I no longer am her father” after numerous missed attempts a woman from the crowed begs that the stones failing to hit her were a sign of her innocence.
The husband then takes over, giving her the first strikes of injustice. The sons were then forced to do the same, followed by the widower who then consciously dropped the stones and walked away. A very memorable moment was when Soraya gave her last speech saying “you all know me I have been in your homes, we have shared meals, I am your neighbor, I am your daughter, I am your mother, I am your wife. How could you do this to me? ” When this occurred, all I could think of was when, Jesus said, “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to cast a stone at her. (John 8:7) People in general have no say; people’s choices are generally based by their surrounding or by the people in their authority. We must hold our choices for one self. We must leave old customs behind in order to progress. Put into thought, would you treat you mother as done in the film? It comes to a time where we must see how we ourselves treat others. Take the time to reminisce on life.