Oliver Stone presents a tribute to a friend one year after his death, the friend in question was the Venezuelan leader Hugo Chávez. The documentary covers the time Stone and Chávez spent ... See full summary »
Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva
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After directing two documentaries on Fidel Castro in 2002 ("Comandante") and 2003 ("Looking for Fidel"), filmmaker Oliver Stone returned to interview Castro in 2009 for the first in-depth ... See full summary »
There's a revolution underway in South America, but most of the world doesn't know it. Oliver Stone sets out on a road trip across five countries to explore the social and political movements as well as the mainstream media's misperception of South America while interviewing seven of its elected presidents. In casual conversations with Presidents Hugo Chavez (Venezuela), Evo Morales (Bolivia), Lula da Silva (Brazil), Cristina Kirchner (Argentina), as well as her husband and ex-President Nestor Kirchner, Fernando Lugo (Paraguay), Rafael Correa (Ecuador), and Raul Castro (Cuba), Stone gains unprecedented access and sheds new light upon the exciting transformations in the region.Written by
Cinema Libre Studio
Alright, something that I never knew was that - I knew there was some dictators around the world, but did you know that some of the dictators now apparently, allegedly, are drug addicts as well? That might explain a few things. Hugo Chavez, now admitting in his speech, that went widely undocumented by the way, that he chews cocoa every morning. And he also eats something called cocoa paste, which by the way is addictive. And he gets it from the dictator in Bolivia.
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Stone is a heavy name in American film. It is used here to help balance the US media's ignorance of recent South American political inclinations. He interviews many elected officials, all of whom seem to be pretty enlightened guys, just like Stone. But they are politicians, each tooting their own horn - one couldn't expect any less. Big meaningful progressive issues are bandied about with revolutionary relish. And Stone could not be less inclined to investigate the ground beneath their feet.
If all this great stuff is happening in South America I couldn't be happier. But knowing how the world works I found it difficult to swallow all of the rhetoric as easily as Stone. His ear is surely closer to the ground than Fox, CNN or the NYT. But what does he need to do, as a filmmaker, to convince his audience of his point of view? He needs to show the proof in the pudding. Lets see the beans in the burrito. Not just the guacamole sauce.
How are these political changes working for the citizens? Let's hear it from the ground up, Oliver. How is Bolivarianism actually achieved within a 21st century global economy? I want to SEE this. If it is happening, why not show the nuts and bolts? Why not interview the newly empowered taxpaying residents and let them show the world how the new policies are changing their lives? To hear politicians gush about it will only move audiences to skepticism. By faith alone? - that's strictly for gringos.
As a fiction and fantasy auteur, it may be that Stone doesn't believe that a documentary approach can speak to the hearts and minds of a society raised on cable junk. He's probably right. But if he's a committed socialist he should work at it a little harder. Many of us are riper for it than even he may realize.
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