Oliver Stone has made a documentary about Venezuelan strongman Hugo Chavez. I'm sure it will be a fair and balanced piece of work.
Stone has a long and distinguished record of factual filmmaking. There was Platoon, which incorporated just about every Vietnam War stereotype. Then there was JFK, a conspiracy theorist's dream that runs circles around the facts. Then there was W, which portrayed George W. Bush as a weak man trapped in his father's shadow.
Stone admitted he didn't interview a single member of the Bush administration before making the film and instead relied on what he had read in books. Stone's Comandante was much more flattering of Fidel Castro, whom Stone called "one of the Earth's wisest people."
Now Stone has turned his cameras on Chavez, and if there was any doubt about which way the movie South of the Border would lean, it was erased when the two walked the red carpet together at the Venice Film Festival. Stone has been extremely complimentary of Chavez and of other leftist South American leaders.
Chavez's political opponents have lost their jobs and been sent to jail. His government has openly supported Sudan's genocidal government and Iran's Holocaust-denying leader, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Castro is Chavez's hero.
Chavez called the leader of Colombia a "criminal" and sent troops to the border, and then five days later shook his hand warmly as if nothing had happened.
Chavez came to power democratically only after he failed to do so through a military coup, and he remains in power in part by creating a weird cult of personality. While his people suffer from terrible poverty and rampant crime, he finds the time to appear on television for hours every Sunday to ridicule his opponents and rant about the United States. . Those who watch Stone's piece of socialist propaganda won't know for certain if it's a misguided documentary or fictionalized history.
It's much the same with that other "great" liberal documentarian Michael Moore, who has made millions bashing the system that has made him so rich. Moore's latest movie, Capitalism: A Love Story, is yet another superficial and one-sided film designed to appeal to a slice of America that likes to focus on the country's imperfections.
Last time I checked, both Stone and Moore, the anti-capitalists, were charging for tickets.
Noelle Nikpour is a Republican strategist and fundraiser. Respond to this column at letters@SunSentinel.com.
Oliver Stone's film about Hugo Chavez ignores important facts about the Venezuelan dictator.Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun