Oliver Stone went to Cuba a few years ago to interview Fidel Castro for the film Comandanate. It was to air on HBO, but apparently HBO and the press found it to be too soft on Fidel, no small feat.
So, Mr Stone went back to try again, and has a new film Looking for Fidel. It has been written that Mr Stone was more critical this time of Fidel, but after reading the following interview with Stone, I can't imagine how bad the first one was......
ALB: Let me ask you about the part [in the film] where Castro's in front of eight prisoners charged with attempting to hijack a plane [to Miami]. He says to them, "I want you all to speak frankly and freely." What do you make of that whole scene, where you have these prisoners who happened to be wearing perfectly starched, nice blue shirts?
OS: Let me give you the background. He obviously set it up overnight. It was in that spirit that he said, "Ask whatever you want. I'm sitting here. I want to hear it too. I want to hear what they're thinking." He let me run the tribunal, so to speak.
ALB: But Cuba's leader for life is sitting in front of these guys who are facing life in prison, and you're asking them, "Are you well treated in prison?" Did you think they could honestly answer that question?
OS: If they were being horribly mistreated, then I don't know that they could be worse mistreated [afterward].
ALB: So in other words, you think they thought this was their best shot to air grievances? Rather than that if they did speak candidly, there'd be hell to pay when they got back to prison?
OS: I must say, you're really picturing a Stalinist state. It doesn't feel that way. You can always find horrible prisons if you go to any country in Central America.
ALB: Did you go to the prisons in Cuba?
OS: No, I didn't.
ALB: So you don't know if they're any different than, say, the prisons in Honduras then?
OS: I think that those prisoners are being honest.
Thanks Oliver. Not that it comes as a big suprise that the liberal leaning Hollywood would bend over backward apologizing for a dictator, but every once in a while you really have to wonder. Expecting an honest answer from a jailed dissident when the dictator is hovering behind the camera? Is Stone really this stupid? How could a guy become so successful at making movies yet have no common sense to understand a coerced statement when he sees one?
Filing this one under -Things that make me head hurt.
Fidel should be dead. Period. He's a Dictator who assassinates political rivals on a regular basis. He denies his people rights and freedoms that we in the US take for granted.
The one thing that Fidel was responsible for that makes ME want to go kill him is keeping Ruben Gonzales from realizing his potential audience until after his exposure from the Afro-Cuban All-Stars and Ry Cooder and the Buena Vista Social Club.... This is a tragedy. Ruben was probably one of the most eloquent and soulful piano players I have ever heard, and because he was trapped in fascist state by a dictator, he wasn't able to truly give the world his music until a few years before his death. Mr Gonzales passed away last December. While we are lucky that he recorded at all, one wonders how many more albums would be out there if he wasn't trapped in a dictatorship.
Thankfully, the United Nations Commission on Human Rights is on the job and will soon get Fidel to release all political prisoners!!
What's that? You say Cuba is a member of the UN Commission on Human Rights?
Ah. Well then. Never mind.
Fidel, please die now. Thank you.