Oliver Stone: US media, government demonize Hugo Chavez

Posted Sep 7, 2009 by Andrew Moran
United States filmmaker Oliver Stone states in a new film that the US government and media demonize Hugo Chavez and other South American leaders.
Oliver Stone
Oliver Stone
Tow Pilot
Oliver Stone’s new film, which premiered at the Venice Film Festival in Italy on Monday, argues that the United States government and media criticize and demonize Venezuela’s President Hugo Chavez and other leftist South American leaders, reports Reuters.
At the beginning of the project, the documentary was meant to show how unfairly the media treats these leaders however, it became a much bigger project, according Stone, ‘I think the movie, if you've seen it, shows very clearly the level of stupidity in the kind of broad statements that are made about Mr. Chavez. But I didn't want to make a movie only about the American media's attacks. I felt that that was too small for what this man is about. This man is a big phenomenon. So we traveled in a road trip kind of movie to visit these other presidents and we saw the positive side of what is going on, the sweeping change in this region. It's a very important historical phenomenon that is ... ignored in America.’
Hugo Chavez, who arrived in Venice for the film’s premiere, was portrayed sympathetically and a hero to his country’s people in Stone’s latest documentary. The Venezuelan leader walked on the red carpet with Oliver Stone posing for photographs and signing autographs. The President received a standing ovation from the audience, industry members and others.
‘What's happening in Latin America is like a Renaissance,’ Chavez told reporters at the film festival.
Stone further cited his belief that the International Monetary Fund is also complicit in the propaganda against Hugo Chavez and other leaders in the region. He believes the IMF imposed ‘neo-liberal’ and US-led conditions in return for loans.
‘Each one of these countries ... is in for a struggle. The idea that Chavez has expressed ... is 'Let's unify, let's stay together here because we are up against a giant', not only the U.S. government giant but against corporations that are multinational and very strong.’
It has been confirmed, by Stone himself, that the Academy Award winning filmmaker was in talks to produce a documentary in Iran about the country’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad however, scheduling conflicts occurred. He thinks that the United States would have invaded Iran if Iraq was a lot more successful.