×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Oliver Stone Slams Media’s ‘Extremist,’ ‘Anti-Russian Fervor’

Presenting his latest work, “The Putin Interviews,” at the Sarajevo Film Festival on Monday, Oliver Stone took aim at the U.S. mainstream media for its inability or refusal to look beyond the established image of Russia and President Vladimir Putin.

The festival honored Stone on Sunday with its Honorary Heart of Sarajevo Award for his “exceptional contribution to film art.” As part of the tribute, the fest is screening four of Stone’s films, including “Snowden,” “Natural Born Killers,” and “Platoon.”

At a Q&A session during and after an entire four-hour screening of “The Putin Interviews,” Stone also touched on the powerlessness of Donald Trump in setting U.S policy, claiming the unwavering course of the country was set by the deep state, regardless of the White House occupant, but nevertheless warned of the U.S. president’s recent threats of military action in Asia and South America.

“Trump — he can’t do anything about where we’re going,” he said. “Right now he’s beating the war drum because that’s more popular, and unfortunately it’s dangerous, not only for Venezuela and North Korea, but also for the world because one thing leads to the other. It could be a disaster.”

Stone spoke at length about what he said was a blatantly biased view of Russia and its leader in the U.S. media.

The Washington Post, The New York Times, and The Wall Street Journal, which set the agenda for U.S. television news, are all conservative and have become “extremist in their anti-Russian fervor,” the filmmaker said.

“What I’m seeing today — and I’ve read these papers for years — is as bad as I’ve ever seen it,” Stone said. “When the Ukrainian situation happened, I didn’t see any reports from the other side of the war. Within hours the United States recognized the coup d’état. And the reporting from the beginning was very anti-Russian.”

Pointing to the $600 million cloud computing contract that the CIA awarded Amazon in 2013 and the fact that the tech giant’s owner, Jeff Bezos, also owns The Washington Post, Stone opined that “it may well be an agenda. We all know the CIA, New York Times, and Washington Post have been close for years. They’re linked to the CIA … CIA interests are not America’s interests, they never have been. The CIA has been morally corrupt since the beginning.”

Answering a question about the possible price of receiving access to Putin, Stone took issue with American and British journalistic practices, saying, “Anglo mentality is to be tough, ask tough questions, and challenge everything he says. I don’t think that’s my style. Firstly I’m a filmmaker, I’m not a reporter. I’ve seen the results of Mike Wallace and, what’s her name, Megyn Kelly,” he said. “I’ve seen what happens when you treat foreign leaders as if you have the right to interrogate them in an American Guantanamo — it doesn’t work.”

On Putin’s view of Trump, Stone said the Russian leader was realistic and well aware that “the policy of the United States is not set by the president. He knows there are limitations. He knows that he’s dealing with a man that is very irrational.” For his part, Putin says in the interview that Trump “ran a good campaign, but he sometimes went too far.”

Both Stone and audience members commented on Putin’s apparent depth of historical knowledge, keen observations, and political savvy.

“He’s very much of a realist, pragmatic — in the mode of Bismarck or Metternich,” Stone said, referring to the revered 19th-century German statesmen.

One audience member stressed that the film offered a stunning contrast in the level of sophistication and acumen between Trump and Putin, whose sharp intellect is evident in passing conversation, whether in reciting mythological tales of Odysseus’ journey through the Black Sea or his expressed admiration for Arizona Senator John McCain — a vociferous critic of Moscow — who he compared to Cato the Elder, the conservative Roman senator who had similar reservations about another world power and liked to end his speeches by reminding his peers that “Carthage must be destroyed.”

Explaining his own personal reasons for seeking to profile Putin, Stone said: “As to my own ethic, it’s in my genes, in my DNA, I’ve always — in baseball, in football — I’ve alway rooted for the underdog,” he added. “In my country, Russia has never gotten a good break.”

Despite warmer relations with the Soviet Union during World War II, Stone said the U.S. began viewing Russia as the enemy with the start of the Cold War.

“Russia never, ever was regarded as anything less than a villain after that. And it continued through my whole youth. … Interestingly enough, Franklin Roosevelt was the only American president next to Kennedy who really recognized the Russian contribution to World War II,” he said. “Roosevelt’s idea, if he had lived, was to make a grand alliance between the U.S., Russia, Great Britain, and China.”

More TV

  • Bohemian Rhapsody

    'Bohemian Rhapsody,' 'Marvelous Mrs. Maisel' Among Cinema Audio Society Winners

    Queen biopic “Bohemian Rhapsody” won the Cinema Audio Society’s top prize for sound mixing at Saturday night’s 55th annual CAS Awards. The film is Oscar-nominated for sound mixing this year along with “Black Panther,” “First Man,” “Roma” and “A Star Is Born.” In a surprise over heavy-hitters “Incredibles 2” and “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse,” Wes [...]

  • Marvelous Mrs Maisel Vice

    'Vice,' 'The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel' Lead Make-Up and Hair Stylists Guild Awards Winners

    Adam McKay’s Dick Cheney biopic “Vice,” starring Oscar nominees Christian Bale, Amy Adams and Sam Rockwell, won two awards at the sixth annual Make-Up and Hair Stylists Guild Awards Saturday night. The film won for best period and/or character makeup as well as special makeup effects. “Mary Queen of Scots” received the prize for period [...]

  • Jussie Smollett Good Morning America

    Jussie Smollett Angrily Denies Complicity in Attack

    Attorneys for “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett issued a statement Saturday denying that he orchestrated his Jan. 29 assault, and saying he is “angered” and “devastated” by recent developments in the case. Chicago police want to interview Smollett, after learning new evidence from two Nigerian brothers who were released on Friday night. Local media outlets have [...]

  • Jussie Smollett Empire

    Chicago Police Want to Talk to Jussie Smollett as New Evidence Emerges

    Chicago police are seeking to re-interview “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett, after new evidence emerged in his alleged assault. Smollett has claimed that two men attacked him at 2 a.m. on Jan. 29, yelled racial and homophobic slurs, poured bleach on him, and put a noose around his neck. The Chicago Police Department has consistently said [...]

  • Five Takes on Canal Plus, Federation’s

    Just Days Left to Catch Canal Plus’ ‘The Bureau’ on MyFFF

    The most lauded of titles on this year’s MyFrenchFilmFestival, UniFrance’s online showcase featured by over 50 OTT services around the world, may not be a film but a drama series. With four seasons aired, and a milestone in world sales on a French TV show, slow-boiling espionage series ‘Le Bureau des légendes’ (“The Bureau”) is [...]

  • Walt Disney Archives Founder Dave Smith

    Walt Disney Archives Founder Dave Smith Dies at 78

    Walt Disney Archives founder Dave Smith, the historian who spent 40 years cataloging and preserving the company’s legacy of entertainment and innovation, died Friday in Burbank, Calif. He was 78. Smith served as Disney’s chief archivist from 1970 to 2010. He was named a Disney Legend in 2007 and served as a consultant to the [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content