"South of the Border" - Oliver Stone movie debuts at Venice film festival

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M. Spector M. Spector's picture
"South of the Border" - Oliver Stone movie debuts at Venice film festival

South of the Border, which premieres at the Venice film festival on Monday, is Oscar-winning director Oliver Stone's latest documentary film. Stone travelled to South America to interview 8 presidents.

The film is co-written by Tariq Ali.

[url=http://www.guardian.co.uk/film/2009/sep/03/oliver-stone-south-of-the-bor... what Stone has to say about the film and watch the trailer.[/url]

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

Reed Johnson, in the L.A. Times, wrote:
In his new documentary "South of the Border," Oliver Stone is shown warmly embracing Hugo Chávez, nibbling coca leaves with Evo Morales and gently teasing Cristina Elizabeth Fernández de Kirchner about how many pairs of shoes she owns.

These amiable, off-the-cuff snapshots of the presidents of Venezuela, Bolivia and Argentina, respectively, contrast with the way these left-leaning leaders often are depicted in U.S. political and mass media circles. That's especially true of Chávez, the former military officer turned democratically elected socialist leader, who has become the ideological heir apparent to Fidel Castro and the bête noire of Bush administration foreign policy officials.

In setting out to make "South of the Border," which is scheduled to have its world premiere this week at the Venice Film Festival, Stone, a lightning-rod figure himself for the better part of three decades, says that he wanted to supply a counterpoint to the prevailing U.S. image of Chávez, who's frequently represented in stateside op-ed pieces and political cartoons as a bellicose dictator-cum-comic opera figure.

"I think he's an extremely dynamic and charismatic figure. He's open and warmhearted and big, and a fascinating character," says the director of "JFK" and "Wall Street," speaking by phone from New York, where he's working on a much-publicized "Wall Street" sequel. "But when I go back to the States I keep hearing these horror stories about 'dictator,' 'bad guy,' 'menace to American society.' I think the project started as something about the American media demonizing Latin leaders. It became more than that as we got more involved."

In addition to Chávez, Stone sought to flesh out several other South American leaders whose policies and personalities generally get scant media attention in the United States and Europe: Morales; Cristina Kirchner and her husband, Argentine former president Néstor Kirchner; Rafael Correa of Ecuador; Raúl Castro of Cuba; Fernando Lugo Méndez of Paraguay; and Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva of Brazil.

[url=http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/news/la-et-stone-doc1-2009sep01,0,6...