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Oliver Stone documentary – South of the Border Oliver Stone – Hugo Chavez Biography

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October 23, 2016

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Oliver Stone documentary – South of the Border Oliver Stone – Hugo Chavez Biography
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Oliver Stone documentary – South of the Border Oliver Stone – Hugo Chavez Biography

In feature films about John F. Kennedy, Richard M. Nixon and George W. Bush, Oliver Stone gave free rein to his imagination and was often criticized for doing so. Now, in “South of the Border,” which opened on Friday, he has turned to Hugo Chávez, Venezuela’s controversial populist president, and his reformist allies in South America.

“People who are often demonized, like Nixon and Bush and Chávez and Castro, fascinate me,” Mr. Stone said in an interview this week during a tour to promote the film, which portrays Mr. Chávez as a benevolent, generous, tolerant and courageous leader who has been unjustly maligned. “It’s a recurring thing,” he added, that may suggest “a psychological attachment to the underdog” on his part.

Unlike his movies about American presidents, the 78-minute “South of the Border” is meant to be a documentary, and therefore to be held to different standards. But it is plagued by the same issues of accuracy that critics have raised about his movies, dating back to “JFK.” Taken together, the mistakes, misstatements and missing details could undermine Mr. Stone’s glowing portrait of Mr. Chávez.

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