Rome, 16 Sept. (AKI) - An Iranian feature film that tells the story of a woman being stoned to death has made headlines at the Toronto Film Festival and provoked an angry response from Iranian authorities.
The film, entitled 'The Stoning of Soraya M.' by Iranian-American director Sirous Norasteh, was shown at the festival which ended last Saturday.
The film tells the real-life story of Soraya, an 18-year-old woman and mother stoned to death in 1984 for alleged sexual infidelity in western Iran.
The film has been described by Iran's state news agency Irna as another "Hollywood operation to damage the image of the Islamic Republic."
"(It's) a film that serves the warmongering strategy of George W. Bush," said Iran's semi-official news agency Fars.
The story of the film says that Soraya’s husband Ali no longer wants to be with her after they had four children together, and that he wants to marry a 14-year-old girl.
Ali cannot afford two wives, so he demands a divorce from Soraya, who refuses for economic reasons. Instead, Ali conspires with the local mullah to frame Soraya for infidelity.
The story is told by her aunt, Zahra, played by Iranian expatriate and Oscar-nominated actress Shohre Aghadashlou.
The film is based on a book published in Paris in 1994 by Franco-Iranian journalist Fereydoun Sahebjam.
Fereydoun is played in the film by Jim Caveziel, who acted in Mel Gibson's film The Passion of the Christ.
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