Granted unprecedented access to both Putin's professional and personal worlds, Oscar®-winning writer and director Oliver Stone (Platoon, JFK) with the help of his longtime documentary producer Fernando Sulichin, interviewed the Russian leader more than a dozen times over the course of two years, most recently in February following the U.S. presidential elections. Since first becoming the president of Russia in 2000, Putin has never before spoken at such length or in such detail to a Western interviewer, leaving no topic off limits. In scope and depth, THE PUTIN INTERVIEWS recalls The Nixon Interviews, the series of conversations between David Frost and Richard Nixon that aired in the spring of 1977, 40 years ago.Written by
Director Oliver Stone travels about with Vladimir Putin and produces four hours of "interview" time. It's not really an interview, as it shows Stone doing some interviewing and also accompanying Putin as he plays a hockey game - something he said he learned just three years before this was filmed (2015) - and as he does some judo - he holds a black belt.
The thing is, Vladimir Putin comes across as an eloquent and thoughtful guy, not like the fat little dictator of North Korea who is well fed and always tries to dress "cool" but as a result just looks ridiculous. Every time Stone tries to bring up something unpleasant about either Russia past or present, Putin has an answer. Stone brings up Stalin, what a monster he was, and yet there are still statues to him. Putin brings up Napoleon and how France admits that what he did was a disgrace yet there are still statues to him. He mentions England's Oliver Cromwell and how he became a dictator and that yet there are statues to him in his home country. When questioned about gay rights in Russia, he even has a compassionate liberal answer for that. He is well versed in history and politics past and present of both the West and Russia, and never loses his cool. And remember, this guy was in the KGB from 1975 to 1990.
Stone asks Putin if he has ever seen "Dr. Strangelove". Putin admits he has not. So Putin stops and takes the time to watch the movie with Stone, although from his expression - and it doesn't change much EVER - you can tell he is probably humoring him. In spite of that, at the end, Putin makes some well thought out remarks about the film that could have been forged into a superior review.
The point is - this is not the guy I was expecting. Plus, you can tell he somewhat charmed Oliver Stone. If this is the same Putin that Donald Trump met, who apparently knows how to shift his presentation to his company, Trump could have easily been putty in his hands.
Watch it - all four hours if you have the time - I think it will be a revelation.
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