Stoning of Soraya M. (In sorrow made endless)

Prior to seeing this film I read the short story Lottery by Shirley Jackson. However Cyrus Nowrasteh's film The Stoning of Soraya M. brought the concept's horror from the realm of fiction into real life. It is moments like these, as I write this, that I mourn for and am repulsed by what humanity is, the deviation from equality that society has somehow metamorphosed into. I am utterly shaken, this story took me beyond anything I have ever experienced. It is interesting, mankind's capacity for so much. Just as I am terrified by the capacity for evil and ignorance and deliberate cruelty, so am i horrified by the use of 'God' by the council in justifying actions they personally disagreed with, what i felt was the core of the progression of the unjust action was the unshouldering of responsibility and decision. Each character who was in a position to stop the execution was able to convince themselves that it was out of their power and they were merely following orders, or the will of God. The film demonstrates a call for change and a petition for humanity to own their decisions and be responsible to and for the world they live in.

I am blessed to live in a country which is founded upon equality, where despite the often lack in its deliverance, justice is not determined by sex of the tried. We however, those of us with rights, and voice, and power are living in a world where this, this injustice and inequality and hidden shame, occurs. Emma Lazarus once said "Until we are all free, we are none of us free. " Though Soraya M.'s actual chains do not bind me, though her status in her society does not actually repress mine, her story has deepened me. Just as in it's sorrows the world is made endless, in learning of them so too am I made endless. Knowledge of the fact that this occurs has bound my heart and looking back I find that I was never truly unshackled. 

Oh the volume of humanity's empathy, to feel the pain we see in others, so much more than pity. So much more powerful is empathy, when you become in part the pain which you see. I believe it stems from the notion that if shared, surely we could alleviate some of the suffering, some of the burden. I feel old and wearied. I feel that when  Mozhan Marnò, the actress who played Soraya, cried out despite her conviction not to, that was myself breaking. Despite the pain however, despite the tears and shock this film caused, I do not find myself afterwards dulled from the grief translated, but rather painfully aware of myself, my surroundings, and my emotions. An element of rawness. Most film allow for separation between audience and art. This movie however transcended my personal bubble and struck a depth which is not often touched. Cinema and reality were no longer distinct.

Oh world! Oh humanity! Oh my dear Lord! We must be willing to act without cowardice to reveal and prevent injustice by being the voice for those who are not heard. We have been made to bear witness, now we must act. For ideas which are not truly lived are of no worth. No depth or breadth or intensity of emotional response means anything unless it manifests in our actions from here on out.

No comments: