South of the Border - a film by Oliver Stone

New York Times Finally Allows Right of Reply to Larry Rohter’s Factual Inaccuracies

posted on: 07-26-2010 - 1:29 pm

Oliver Stone’s Latin Film

Published: July 24, 2010

To the Editor:

Oliver Stone’s Latin America” (Arts pages, June 26) tries to discredit our film, “South of the Border,” by raising questions about its accuracy.

On our Web site, www.Southoftheborderdoc.com, we deal with each of the points that your article raises: geography, oil imports, the 2002 coup in Venezuela, the 1998 presidential race there, Argentina’s economic recovery and water privatization in Bolivia. We maintain that there are no inaccurate or misleading statements on any of these points in the film.

READ ON HERE.

Categorie(s): "South Of The Border" News | From The Filmakers | Reviews

REVIEW: “[US Media's] Characterization of Chavez as a “Dictator” is a Misnomer.”

posted on: 1:20 pm

Oliver Stone offers his take on Hugo Chavez

By MICK LASALLE FILM WRITER

July 23, 2010, 4:12PM

Oliver Stone might not be the ideal reporter to send on a truth-seeking mission to South America, but if nobody else wants to do it, we have to take what we can get.

In South of the Border, Stone travels to five countries to interview the left and center-left heads of state that have come to power there in recent years. The film begins with idiotic banter on cable news, in which three talk-show hosts claim that Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez is a drug addict. Then, after a montage of similar nonsense we call news, we see him interviewing Chávez one on one.

Chávez calls him “Oliver.” Stone calls him “Hugo.” They get along. As Stone is not a reporter, but more like a sympathetic ear, he doesn’t ask hard questions. We don’t know if the facts and figures that Chávez presents have any validity. But a couple of things do come through that seem clear, even incontestable. The American media’s version of Chávez as a clown, or “killer clown,” as one American talking head puts it, is a ridiculous distortion. Likewise, the frequent characterization of Chavez as a “dictator” is a misnomer. He keeps getting elected and re-elected.

READ MORE HERE.

Categorie(s): "South Of The Border" News | Reviews

REVIEW: UK Guardian Congratulates Stone on US Release

posted on: 11:43 am

Oliver Stone nails Latin America’s troubled relationship with the USA

Political interference and studio nervousness have undermined so many worthy films on the subject, it’s a wonder that South Of The Border got made, let alone seen in the USA..

The Guardian, Saturday 24 July 2010

by John Patterson

Despite my many differences with Oliver Stone as an artist, I congratulate him on having managed both to present an unhysterical assessment of Latin American leaders and issues in South Of The Border, and also to get it seen in the US. The latter, especially, is achievement indeed.

A rare precedent is Costa-Gavras‘s Missing, which netted Oscars in 1982 with its horrifying story of the US State Department’s involvement in the murder of one of its own citizens during the US-backed Chilean coup of 1973. In retrospect, it looks like the last gasp of those liberal Hollywood instincts that saw producer Bert Schneider thanking the Viet Cong leadership as he accepted his Best Documentary Oscar for Hearts and Minds in 1975.

READ MORE HERE.

Categorie(s): "South Of The Border" News | Reviews

REVIEW: Oliver Stone Tells the Real Story of the Leftist Latin American Leaders Transforming the Continent

posted on: 07-16-2010 - 5:17 pm
AlterNet / By Daniela Perdomo
Stone’s new film traces the rise of Chávez, Lula, Evo, and others who see participatory democracy and cooperation between Latin American countries as the future.
July 12, 2010 |

After decades of military dictatorships and IMF puppetry in Latin America, the southern cone of the New World is slowly but surely moving toward reformist, left-leaning governance. This all started in 1999, when Hugo Chávez was elected in Venezuela. Today, Chávez has left or left-center allies at the helm of Brazil, Ecuador, Bolivia, Argentina, Paraguay, and preceding him, Cuba.

Read full review.

Categorie(s): Reviews

VOTE NOW: Dumbest Mistake in a “South of the Border” Review!

posted on: 07-13-2010 - 5:36 pm

Tue Jul 13, 2010

“South of the Border” takes aim at the media for its misinformed and misleading coverage of Latin America. The film includes clips from CNN, network news programs, the New York Times, Fox News, and other media to demonstrate just how bad the coverage can be. But a host of reviews of “South of the Border” serve as additional examples, getting countries and presidents mixed up with each other, confusing democratic elections with coups d’etat, and other errors.

What do you think is the dumbest mistake in a “Border” review so far?

View the nominees and vote in the poll now!!

Categorie(s): "South Of The Border" News | Reviews

REVIEW: Lynne Bronstein, Santa Monica Mirror

posted on: 07-12-2010 - 6:59 pm

Oliver Stone’s South of the Border

by Lynne Bronstein

Jul. 9, 2010, 3:15:00 pm

Outside Laemmle’s Monica Theatre on the evening of July 2, the lineup of ticket buyers jostled for sidewalk space with cheering fans greeting Oliver Stone as he arrived to talk about his new film South of the Border. There were also demonstrators, who disapproved of the film’s main subject, Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez.

“Oliver Stone is getting paid to be Hugo Chavez’s Minister of Propaganda,” read one demonstrator’s sign.

South of the Border is a documentary about the political changes that have occurred in South America over the last ten years. Most of the film recounts the rise, fall, and rise again of Chavez, a former soldier who staged an unsuccessful coup against the Venezuelan government in 1992, was jailed, and later succeeded in being elected president due to overwhelming support from the poor majority of Venezuela.

Stone uses footage from both American and Venezuelan media, along with interviews, to tell Chavez’s story. The film unabashedly supports Chavez, who describes himself as a “Bolivarian” after the legendary leader Simon Bolivar who liberated six South American countries, including Venezuela, from colonialism.

Since Venezuela’s main resource is oil, South of the Border examines the political situation in Venezuela through the situation of oil interests. Frequently mentioned in the film are the IMF (International Monetary Fund, a global organization that deals with monetary and economic issues) and the DEA (Drug Enforcement Administration). Stone’s film takes a dim view of the role of these agencies.

Read full article here.

Categorie(s): "South Of The Border" News | Reviews

REVIEW: “South of the Border is a biting critique of the American media’s coverage of the movement – sparing no major news outlet.”

posted on: 11:46 am

Oliver Stone Tells the Real Story of the Leftist Latin American Leaders Transforming the Continent

Stone’s new film traces the rise of Chávez, Lula, Evo, and others who see participatory democracy and cooperation between Latin American countries as the future.

By Daniela Perdomo

July 12, 2010

After decades of military dictatorships and IMF puppetry in Latin America, the southern cone of the New World is slowly but surely moving toward reformist, left-leaning governance. This all started in 1999, when Hugo Chávez was elected in Venezuela. Today, Chávez has left or left-center allies at the helm of Brazil, Ecuador, Bolivia, Argentina, Paraguay, and preceding him, Cuba.

But given the minimal and distorted coverage of political developments in Latin America, most Americans don’t know the real story. And when the U.S. corporate media does deign to discuss the region’s significant ideological shift, it’s usually in a very alarmist way. “Leftist menace,” CNN has blared, while Fox News consistently warns of “Rising dictators” when one of these so-called despots wins a democratic election.

The good news is that Oliver Stone’s new documentary, South of the Border, offers American audiences an alternative version of this continent-wide paradigm shift.

Read full article here.

Categorie(s): "South Of The Border" News | Reviews

REVIEW: “An ENTERTAINING political road movie… Stone’s mission is laudable”

posted on: 07-07-2010 - 6:02 pm

Oliver Stone’s Southern Exposure

Why the director’s controversial new documentary, South of the Border, is generating so much heat.

By David Corn

Wed Jul. 7, 2010 4:05 AM PDT

Did you know that a former Catholic bishop named Fernando Lugo, a champion of liberation theology, is president of Paraguay? That was news to me. But one of the most intriguing moments in Oliver Stone’s new documentary, South of the Border, is the director’s sit-down with Lugo. The movie, which is starting to hit theaters, is a sympathetic portrayal of socialist Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez and five other left-of-center South American leaders. Whether Chavez deserves Stone’s image-rehabbing or not, the true value of the film is that it nudges our gaze southward, toward significant (seismic, as Stone views it) political developments on a continent often ignored, overlooked, and misunderstood.

Naturally, the prolific and provocative Stone (PlatoonWall StreetJFKWorld Trade Center) has generated controversy with South of the Border. The obvious complaint is that he’s soft on Chavez and Raul Castro. (Stone partly undermines his celebration of the democratically-elected leftists of South America by lumping them with the dictator of Cuba.) But at a panel discussion following a screening of the film in Washington, an academic specialist on Latin American also accused Stone of adopting an ahistorical perspective on South American developments. (Stone cites the recent elections of progressive South American leaders as a new trend.) And the New York Times‘ Larry Rohter slammed the movie for being “plagued” by inaccuracies—a charge that Stone fiercely denied in a blistering response.

Read the full review here.

Categorie(s): "South Of The Border" News | Reviews

REVIEW: “An EDUCATIONAL and INFORMATIVE alternative perspective.”

posted on: 5:08 pm

From South of the Border to Restrepo, Docs Fill Media Gap

by Anne Thompson

on July 6, 2010 at 5:08am PDT

With South of the Border (in select theaters), Oliver Stone catches us up with the recent history of South America, which has been woefully misrepresented in the press both stateside and in South America, where the media is dominated by private companies owned by wealthy families. Opening night at Laemmle’s Santa Monica 4-Plex, Stone managed to push past a noisy protest organized by activist Maria Conchita Alonso and her brother, who disapprove of the filmmaker’s friendly portrait of Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez. Stone has been a student of Latin America since we both first visited Cuba and met Fidel Castro at the Havana Film Festival in 1987.

This movie provides an educational and informative alternative perspective from our nightly news, which tends to employ such buzz words as “human rights,” “terrorism” and “freedom.” “It unturns a rock,” says Stone. Clearly, despite what we may hear, Chavez is a democratically elected leader who “refuses to accept the dictates of Washington,” as the movie puts it. And President Obama recognized that when he had the temerity to shake his hand. (He has not seen South of the Border yet.) Venezuela gave as much money to Haiti as the U.S. did, and donates to charities for poor families in America. Much of the movie’s ire is directed at the two Bush administrations. “You are a donkey, Mr. Bush,” says Chavez at one point, making fun of the American media’s accusing him of building the Iranian atomic bomb. His giant silos were for corn.

Read the full review here.

Categorie(s): "South Of The Border" News | Reviews

REVIEW: “…WELL RESEARCHED, EDUCATIONAL, INTERESTING and THOUGHT-PROVOKING…”

posted on: 06-30-2010 - 6:34 pm

Oliver Stone is legendary for his excellence as a filmmaker.  “Wall Street”, “JFK”, “W”, “Nixon”, “Born on the Fourth of July” are just the tip of the iceberg.  He is equally known for controversy as to alleged historical accuracies or implications of conspiracy theories he espouses in many of his “fictional” scripts.  But the tables turn when you start talking accuracy, information and education in his documentaries, as they are inscrutable, and never moreso than with SOUTH OF THE BORDER.

What began as a sit down with President Hugo Chavez of Venezuela, turned into a well researched, educational, interesting and thought provoking documentary focusing on the preeminent leaders of Venezuela, Brazil, Argentina, Bolivia, Paraguay, Ecuador and Cuba – Hugo Chavez, Lula da Silva, Cristina Kirchner and her husband, former President Nestor Kirchner, Evo Morales, Fernando Lugo, Rafael Correa and Raul Castro -  their hopes and desires for economic independence from the International Money Fund, control of their countries’ own resources, stronger regional ties and their driving desire to create a better life for their peoples.   Through up close and personal interviews, and education by way of  extensive factual information about actual events that have transpired over the years – now reported without the taint of yellow journalism and negativity – we are privy to a “new” purer history “south of the border” that gives pause to the disinformation machine of conglomerate media and politics, opening our eyes and proving yet again, the truth of that old  adage – you can’t judge a book by its cover.

Full Review

Debbie Lynn Elias, Culver City Observer

Categorie(s): "South Of The Border" News | Reviews