Oliver Stone makes no bones about his political affiliations. The legendary director, who has made many films that are critical of the Vietnam War, the Bush administration and Wall Street, has always leaned pretty hard to the left.
Stone’s perspective is once again made clear in his new documentary, “South of the Border.” In the film, he interviews controversial South American leaders — most notably Hugo Chavez, the president of Venezuela — about the American government’s involvement in South American politics.
“Never before have so many of these South American countries come together at one time and agreed to try to change things and make a difference, and they did because of Bush,” Stone explains.
“South of the Border” argues that the North American media has purposely demonized Chavez in order to justify the manipulation of South American politics for their own benefit — i.e., oil.
“There’s this history of false intelligence and panicking,” Stone says. “The media in South America and North America is controlled by rich people. Let’s not forget that.”
In the film, Stone shows Chavez shaking hands with admiring supporters and visiting his humble childhood home. While his partiality is obvious, Stone hopes the film will provide a fresh perspective.
“He gets hot-tempered, he blows steam sometimes but he’s an honest person and he cares about poor people because he was poor,” Stone says. “The big picture is that South America has prospered without America and will continue to do so if America gets the f— out. America cannot afford to be the world’s policemen.”