Shoreh Aghdashloo, who stars in the upcoming and powerful film The Stoning of Soraya M, appeared today on Fox & Friends to discuss the uprising in her native Iran. From my earlier encounter with Aghdashloo, I know that she emigrated from Iran to escape the repressive Islamist revolution, and it took years for her to get her family out of the country as she worked in the West for democratic change in Iran. How does she see the protests, in the context of her own struggle? Aghdashloo confessed to mixed emotions (via YidwithLid):
Aghdashloo wisely does not take Steve Doocy’s bait when asked about Barack Obama. She says she was proud of Obama’s eventual statement, but stays away from domestic political analysis.
Aghdashloo sees the protests as already moving past Mousavi towards a greater reckoning with the system that produced the elections in general. The question will be whether the people of Iran can sustain the pressure long enough to get key elements of the regime to turn against the mullahs. The inclusion of so many women — Aghdashloo estimates their participation as 40% of the people in the street — will certainly give this more momentum, as women know they have the most to gain from a democratic reform movement, and the most to lose if it fails.
Of course, that’s what The Stoning of Soraya M is all about, too, but not just limited to Iran. The actual events transpired there, but stonings of women for unproven sexual indiscretions occur in many places in that hemisphere. Stoning depicts the fate of women in any system that strips them of individual rights and treats them like chattel, and rural Iran is far from the only place where that happens.
It opens on June 26th, and next Tuesday we will interview actor Navid Neghaban, who plays Soraya’s husband, about Iran, the movie, and the wider implications of Soraya’s death.