Blog post

“Oliver Stone and Tariq Ali: brothers in arms”

Clara Heyworth25 July 2010

As part of the ongoing coverage of the new film "South of the Border", Tariq Ali describes in the Guardian how his collaboration with Oliver Stone came about and what he thinks sets the film apart.

Almost a year and a half ago I received a phone call from Paraguay. It was Oliver Stone. He had been reading Pirates of the Caribbean: Axis of Hope, my collection of essays on the changing politics of Latin America, and asked if I was familiar with his work. I was, especially the political films in which he challenged the fraudulent accounts of the Vietnam war that had gained currency during the B-movie years of Reagan's presidency ...

[South of the Border] does not set out to be an analytical , distanced, cold-blooded view of leaders desperate to free themselves from the stranglehold of the Big Brother up north. The film is sympathetic to their cause, which is essentially a cry for freedom, the interviews with the seven elected presidents forming its spinal cord. Chávez is given centre stage, because he was the pioneering leader of the radical social-democratic experiments currently underway in the continent, and his country has large oil reserves. "If the film convinces people that Chávez is a democratically elected president and not the evil dictator depicted in much of the western media," Stone said, "we will have achieved our purpose."

Visit the Guardian to read the article in full.

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