On Wednesday June, 23 Washington Life Magazine of Washington DC was delighted to have prominent award-winning filmmaker, Oliver Stone present his new documentary “South of the Border.” The evening began with the premier of the documentary at the AFI Silver Theatre in Silver Spring, MD. The viewing was followed by an exclusive after-party hosted by Washington Life Magazine at Teatro Goldini in downtown DC.
The documentary covers the controversial issues spanning both South and Central America, including exclusive meetings and interviews with many of the countries presidents. The movie begins with Venezuelan’s president, Hugo Chavez’s efforts to spread socialism ideology across the South American continent. Stone traveled to seven South American countries to interview their presidents and the documentary shows these various interactions with Paraguay’s Fernando Lugo, Bolivia’s Evo Morales, Brazil’s Lula Da Silva, Argentina’s power couple Christina and Nestor Kirchner, Ecuador’s Rafael Correa, and lastly Cuba’s Raul Castro.
Stone’s says his incentive for the film was to inform his audience of what actually is taking place in Latin America, and how the U.S and European media have distorted the reality of South America’s history. The New York Times‘ Stephen Holden writes of the documentary, “The film’s macrocosmic overview focuses on South America’s leaders, not on the populace. Each country is given a brief, sketchy history. There are no serious interviews with the poor to determine how everyday lives have changed under these socialist governments, and there is no mention of the human rights abuses in Venezuela reported by Amnesty International. Mr. Chávez is looked on favorably by his left-wing neighbors.”
Mr. Holden goes on to write, “Because so little has been made in the United States about South America’s leftward continental drift, “South of the Border” is a valuable, if naïvely idealistic, introductory tutorial on a significant international trend. It ultimately proffers the vision of a pan-South American union that is economically and politically strong enough to realize the Bolivarian dream.”
When I had the chance to speak with Stone, I asked him what his favorite thing to do in DC was. “Hang out with Presidents,” was his
reply. He said that he believed Washington is a great city that holds a lot of power. “I love the summers here. I love the
humidity,” he said. “I love to come in and observe the power. I am not a seeker of the power. I would not bend down and kiss a ring. I am an anthropologist – I enjoy being around it, but I have the opportunity to come and go.”