Stoning of Soraya M gets 3 Satellite Award nominations

posted at 12:55 pm on November 30, 2009 by Ed Morrissey

The International Press Academy, which usually focuses on independent films over studio, has discovered a film about which I have written repeatedly over the last 14 months.  The IPA has nominated The Stoning of Soraya M for its Satellite awards in several categories, naming it as one of the top 10 films of 2009.  Two of the women in the movie get singled out for particular attention in the list of nominations (via HA reader Thomas B):

  • Best Motion Picture (Drama)
  • Best Actress (Drama) – Shoreh Aghdashloo
  • Best Supporting Actress (Drama) – Mozhan Marnó

Peter Kneght calls the inclusion of Soraya “out of nowhere,” and that’s not an unfair assessment.  The picture did not do great box office, but that’s not atypical for indie films.  Those of us who pushed hard to get the public’s attention for the film were ultimately disappointed to see it disappear so quickly from theaters.  We’ve been waiting for the film to get released on DVD/Blu-Ray, and perhaps this will encourage investors to back such an effort.

The nominations are well-deserved, and I’d argue that the IPA missed a couple of worthy nominees as well.  Shoreh Aghdashloo was the most recognizable cast member besides Jim Caviezel, who bookended the film as the journalist who ultimately tells the tale.  Aghdashloo gave an unforgettable performance as a woman trapped in post-revolutionary Iran but whose considerable influence falls just short of stopping a grave injustice.  Marnó is absolutely heartbreaking as the woman betrayed by her husband, her community, and her faith in justice in the most horrifying manner possible. (Read my initial review here.)

But a couple of the men deserve some recognition, too.  I have to admit to some personal bias on behalf of Navid Negahban, who appeared on my show when the film opened, and whose portrayal of Soraya’s husband Ali gave a malevolent story the necessary presence for what transpired.  But it seems almost inexplicable to me that anyone who saw the film would not have nominated David Diaan for his critical performance as Ebrahim, the mayor whose conscience told him that evil was afoot, but whose status blinded him as to the real victims of it.  Diaan provided the embodiment of the axiom, “All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing,” and without it, the film would have had much less emotional impact and resonance.

I’m hoping the IPA gives an award “out of nowhere” to a film that clearly deserved a lot more recognition than it got.  I’m also happy to see The Hurt Locker on the same list.  That film has a DVD/Blu-ray release date of January 12, 2010, and I’m already signed up to buy it, and you can read my review here.

Update: Ms. Underestimated notes that the official Soraya website has a notice that the film will be released on DVD in March, at least for North America.

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cool.

moonbatkiller on November 30, 2009 at 12:57 PM

Hi Ed:

According the official site, the DVD will be: “Coming to DVD in North America in March 2010.”

I’m anxiously awaiting that release, too, along with “The Hurt Locker.”

MsUnderestimated on November 30, 2009 at 1:09 PM

I’m glad Stoning of Soraya M is getting some recognition. Maybe there will be a film made about the honor killings here – The Shootings of 2 Texas Girls, The Running Over of My Westernized Daughter, The Beheading Of Wife Who Wants Divorce….

CarolynM on November 30, 2009 at 1:11 PM

Yes but does it promote Obamacare?

Sharke on November 30, 2009 at 1:29 PM

I can’t find any information about when this will be available on DVD.

Cindy Munford on November 30, 2009 at 1:31 PM

Hi again, Ed. In fact, on Amazon.com, you can sign up for an alert (using your Amazon account) when the DVD is available for sale or pre-order.

MsUnderestimated on November 30, 2009 at 1:47 PM

Marnó is absolutely heartbreaking as the woman betrayed by her husband, her community, and her faith in justice in the most horrifying manner possible.

How was she betrayed by “her faith”? Islamic law treats women as chattel property to be disposed of as her owner wills. Moreover, stoning is 100% in accordance with islamic jurisprudence, and is pleasing to allah.

We as a society need to stop calling traditional islamic practices “unislamic”, when those practices offend our delicate Western sensibilities. Islam is, at it’s foundation, a death cult, and acknowledging it for what it is, is the first step in protecting ourselves from it.

And be very very sure, protection is necessary.

Rebar on November 30, 2009 at 2:10 PM

Best screenplay!

Best Director!

Best Actress!

Best Production Design!

Best Picture!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

TheAlamos on November 30, 2009 at 2:15 PM

We may never know why she was stoned to death.

BL@KBIRD on November 30, 2009 at 2:37 PM

What’s a few murdered women to the religion of minarets towering over towns in Switzerland and refusal to assimilate to cultural norms everywhere else that is infidel?
.
/sarc

ExpressoBold on November 30, 2009 at 3:35 PM

What amazes me is the limited amount of attention that this story has gotten on this board.

Timber Wolf on November 30, 2009 at 3:41 PM

We may never know why she was stoned to death.

BL@KBIRD on November 30, 2009 at 2:37 PM

Direct hit.

Maquis on November 30, 2009 at 4:37 PM

The Stoning of Soraya M is an amazing and important movie!
One of the most moving movies I have seen in a long time!

I am thrilled to see it getting these awards. They are very well deserved and I hope the movie and actresses/actors get many more awards.

The insight into the psychology of why the stoning happened is something we all need to understand. And the main message is applicable to so many situations. Evil happens when good people do nothing.

Don’t be afraid of seeing the stoning scenes. The actual stoning only lasts about 10 minutes and it is well done to make the point without showing any more than is necessary.

Please watch the DVD when it comes out and share it with your friends. This is such an important story!

wren on November 30, 2009 at 7:03 PM

We may never know why she was stoned to death. BL@KBIRD on November 30, 2009 at 2:37 PM
Direct hit. Maquis on November 30, 2009 at 4:37 PM

What we really need to investigate is who leaked the fact that stonings are occurring. The leak is the real crime.

Mojave Mark on November 30, 2009 at 9:36 PM