Wednesday, January 13, 2010

oliver stone's secret history of america

Guardian | In a film-making career spanning almost 40 years, Oliver Stone has turned political controversy in America into an art form. He has upset financiers with his caustic portrayal of Wall Street; conservatives with his depiction of Fidel Castro, Hugo Chávez and George Bush; and Democrats with his conspiracy theories about the assassination of John F Kennedy.

All of which may come to look like a tea party – of the social as opposed to right-wing protest variety – when his next big venture hits the screens.

Stone announced yesterday that a 10-hour crash course in the history of the 20th century he is putting together for American TV is designed as an antidote to the inaccuracies and biases he believes exist in the conventional historical narrative dished out in American schools and mainstream media. The title alone gives an inkling of what lies ahead: Oliver Stone's Secret History of America.

The thrice-Oscar winning director gave a further glimpse into his thinking at a gathering of TV critics in Pasadena on Saturday, when he didn't so much open up a can of worms as unleash an entire supermarket shelf-load. He began by startling the panel by bringing up the H word.

"Hitler is an easy scapegoat throughout history and it's been used cheaply," he said. Then he mentioned the S word. "Stalin has a complete other story. Not to paint him as a hero, but to tell a more factual representation. He fought the German war machine more than any person."

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