The Stoning of Soraya M.

The new film “The Stoning of Soraya M” opens in theaters on June 26. Based on a true story, it centers on an Iranian woman, Soraya, who was brutally stoned to death by her fellow villagers in 1986 after her husband falsely accused her of adultery. Soraya’s aunt takes great personal risks to share the story with the outside world. Creators of the film say current events in Iran give both the story and film a new relevance. Religion & Ethics NewsWeekly managing editor Kim Lawton spoke with Iranian-born Shohreh Aghdashloo, who plays Soraya’s aunt and who says the movie is not anti-Islamic, but rather a celebration of those who stand up for what they believe is right. The actress also reflects on the role of women in Iran’s current political crisis. Lawton also interviewed Cyrus Nowrasteh, the Iranian-American director of the film who says it shows what can happen when people hijack religion for their own purposes, and producer Steve McEveety, who also made “The Passion of the Christ” and who describes the campaign to “target-market” the film to Protestant and Catholics churches.   (Film clips courtesy of Mpower Pictures and Roadside Attractions)