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South of the Border
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On a road/air trip crisscrossing several of the more active left-leaning countries of "the newly emerging "post-Bush II" South America," Stone engages in a series of in-depth interviews tossing a lot of softball questions to his hosts and more often than not, getting the desired and predictably one-sided responses he expected. The key players of what is referred to as the "new Bolivians" include: Cristina and Néstor Kirchner, the president and ex-presidents of Argentina; Evo Morales the democratically elected President of Bolivia; Brazil's Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva; Paraguay's Fernando Lugo; Ecuador's Rafael Correa; Cuba's Raúl Castro, and Hugo Chavez of Venezuela. In addition to giving very relaxed and frank interviews, what they all have in common is having been democratically elected and a committed desire to remove the yoke of European colonialism; redress the gross economic inequities, and end the worse of U.S. interference and meddling in their internal affairs.
For those of us who routinely watch European news, Stone's freeform documentary is nothing new. And although Stone's political zeal and messages often get ahead of his investigative depth and accuracy, it is still a refreshing alternative to the tiring "pro-corporate propaganda" screed promoted by the views espoused through Fox News.Read more ›
South of the Border's main strength lies in its presentation of information that we don't receive in the American media. The purpose of this documentary was to address some of the lies and distortions we are regularly subjected to on our evening newscasts. In that respect, it's a resounding success. Whether or not you agree with these South American leaders' policies, you get to hear their ideas in their own words. They come across as very human and not the monsters they are often portrayed as.
However, it is a little simple. The majority of the film consists of interviews between Stone and the leaders and there's not a whole lot of extrapolation. It kind of feels like you're sitting in on an after dinner conversation with friends. While it serves to give you a sort of familiar feeling with the subjects of the film, it doesn't really explain in great detail any of the policies or approaches. This might have been what the filmmakers were aiming for, given the short attention spans of the intended American audience. If so, it's a forgiveable error.
I say, it's about time! For decades American corporate media "news" has lobbed softball after softball to moneyed interests lackeys purporting to be representatives of the electorate. For once, those elected despite instead of because of those powerful forces get to have their say.
See SOUTH OF THE BORDER.
The prime focus of the film is Hugo Chavez, president of Venezuela and probably the most polarizing figure to emerge from Latin America since Fidel Castro. Anyone who relies only on cable news for their information probably knows little about the man except the usual U.S. line that he's some sort of strongman dictator who wants to revive socialism in the hemisphere etc. Stone sets out to meet Chavez and show another perspective, we see a popular leader who comes from the country's most ignored slums and does indeed see himself as a man on a mission, to give more power to the poor and beat back U.S. economic and political hegemony in the continent. Stone shows Chavez in casual conversation, we see them visit Chavez's old boyhood barrio, Stone is stunned at the massive books Chavez enjoys reading before going to bed in the evenings. We can only judge what's in the movie, here Chavez comes across as an open guy who's both humorous but at the same time dead serious about what it is he wants to do.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Not good. Oliver Stone could have found better people to represent current south american views. For exmaple I didn't like that Cristina Fernandez was in it.Published 2 months ago by Nicolas H.
I recomend this film to any one who does not understand S. America.Published 6 months ago by Chris Bory
Great video about a man loved by his country, who stood against the conservative bankers of the world helping his fellow citizens break free from the bondage of debt. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Bradley G. Mastin
Very informative !! I learned a lot about some of the leaders in South America and I am impressed with what they are doing. Read morePublished 15 months ago by dallas
Must see … learn the truth and understand reality. "They don't have US's interest in mind? They certainly don't, they have their interest in mind just like US has its... Read morePublished on November 29, 2013 by Alexander Gray