07/27/2009 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

The Stoning Of Soraya M

Steve McEveety is a Hollywood oddity: He's humble. I know. Weird. When his last film came out he identified himself as "a producer of The Passion of The Christ." But he wasn't a producer, but rather the producer.

As producer of the inspired-by rock soundtrack of that film who spent hours hanging out in his office (it was where everybody congregated) I was able to see Steve's genius up close one day. Although most of the film had already been shot by this time, one day Mel Gibson burst excitedly into Steve's office and explained in great detail, hands in the air, of a shot he wanted to add to the film. A single drop of water would fall from the sky, Mel said, as he motioned wildly, and then hit the ground. Months later, that shot was in the film and I was able to see up close how the two worked together, Mel dreaming up an idea and Steve executing it to perfection.

Steve went on to form his own company, MPower Pictures and his latest film The Stoning of Soraya M releases today. It's a difficult film to watch, but an important one, especially given recent events in Iran. Steve believes fervently in freedom (he also produced Braveheart) and this film is a labor of love for him and one he has championed from the beginning when it was just an idea.
Roger Ebert praises the movie here, but others are criticizing it as a slasher film.

I screened the film several months back but plan to see it again this weekend. It opens in limited release on some 22 screens across the country this weekend.