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Review: South of the Border

Oliver Stone's look at Hugo Chavéz, among others
By CHRIS FARAONE  |  September 29, 2010
3.5 3.5 Stars

 

Oliver Stone may have been easy on W. in his bio-pic, but he chops the dummy's head off in this revealing documentary about the social-welfare-minded neo-liberal leaders running South America, and the liars in the Bush administration who compared them to Hitler and bin Laden. Through intimate interviews with Venezuelan president Hugo Chávez and other vilified figures, Stone examines how these Bolivarian heroes gave ownership to the people and in the process squeezed out US businesses. There's little news here for literate liberals, yet Stone is a more effective advocate than Sean Penn, whose 2008 Chávez profile in the Nation was embarrassing bit of ass kissing. This film is frightening not just in its portrayal of corporate arrogance but in the way it shows how companies like Bechtel manipulated media from Caracas to Manhattan, from Fox News to the New York Times. Stone also humanizes these leaders, including one scene of Chávez riding a bicycle. Somehow I can't imagine Hitler doing that.

  Topics: Reviews , George W. Bush, Oliver Stone, Venezuela,  More more >
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