Last week, I saw another movie that should be seen, although I doubt any viewer could say they "enjoyed" it. But moved and changed you will be.
The Stoning of Soraya M. is set in 1986 Iran at the start of Khomeini's reign and tells the true story of Soraya (Mozhan Marnò), whose husband plots to have her falsely accused of adultery so he can divorce her and marry a young girl. French journalist Freidoune (Jim Caviezel) is pulled into Soraya's tragic story when he meets a desperate woman named Zahra (Shohreh Aghdashloo).
Most of us in the western world don't want to believe there were places in the world in the 20th (and are now in the 21st) century where women have no value as human beings and no protection from or recourse for false accusations, beatings, rape, murder. Much like Khaled Hosseini's novel, A Thousand Splendid Suns, this movie shows us things that we would probably like to pretend don't exist. But they do exist, and this movie shows them to us in stark reality.
Warning: The stoning sequence is as real and startling as many of the scenes in The Passion of the Christ. I now understand death by stoning in a whole new (and shatteringly real) way. Not for the weak at heart but also not something to be avoided. Because we need to know the truth. We need to know it so we can stand up for justice, for what is right.
So Jesus was saying to those Jews who had believed Him, “If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.” (John 8:31-32)
The truth makes us free, and it can help us set others free, too.
Interestingly enough, John 8 is also the chapter where we find the story of the adulterous woman who was brought before Jesus to test Him. The law called for the woman to be stoned. But Jesus' reply was, "He who is without sin among you, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.” (John 8:7)
None of us are without sin. None of the characters portrayed in the movie were without sin. We all need to put down the stones and show mercy to those around us.
See The Stoning of Soraya M. If you are a member of Netflix, you can stream it live on your computer or Internet connected device. Or rent it from your local video store.