Oliver Stone: "I Repeat, Evita Was Both a Saint And a Prostitute"

─How many pairs of shoes do you have?

─What do I know, they never asked a man how many pairs of shoes he has or how many pants he has. They always ask women these things.

The dialogue involves film director Oliver Stone (The Doors, Platoon, JFK, Wall Street, Snowden) and Cristina Fernández de Kirchner in his first presidency. It took place in a twilight Quinta de Olivos. It appears in South of the border, a documentary that Stone premiered a decade ago, where Hugo Chavez (who makes him ride a bicycle that ends up broken under his legs) and Evo Morales (with whom he tries in vain to play football) ). The objective was to show the maximum referents of the new Latin left of the ‘00 in its most human facet, far from the image of “cruel dictators” condemned by the American media. But about shoes, just talk to Cristina. A pity that by then she would not have rolled the epithet "machirulo", with which she could have defended herself.

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In favor of such curiosity, someone could claim that certain women of power went down in history because of their waste of shoes. Think of the 1,220 pairs of Imelda Marcos, widow of the Filipino dictator. But surely the Estonian question alludes to the hundreds of tacos accumulated by Eva Perón, which betrayed the photographer of Life magazine, Gisèle Freund, back in the ‘50. Once again passing through Buenos Aires, the director refers to that woman. And they know what: he takes up the phrase that earned him the repudiation of the 62 Peronist Guild Organizations a decade ago, when he was declared "persona non grata". "I will repeat it: it was both a saint and a prostitute," he throws. But we better not take anything out of context. What is this man doing here who was left with the question of how many shoes the current vice treasured?

Hombrón. With more than one meter eighty and 73 years, Stone maintains its strong man bearing.

The thermal sensation is around 42 degrees. Crónica TV adds the title The legs in the fountain to an image of Plaza de Mayo that seems to update the popular fervor (faith and boil) of October 17, 1945. From today Alberto Fernández is our president.

The director of Peloton went to Congress to witness his assumption. "There I saw Menem again," he says. “I really wanted to make my version of Evita and he betrayed me. He gave me guarantees to film it before he was president and when he was, he reaffirmed his promise. But then he backed out: at that time the Peronists were very moralistic with Evita. She was a wonderful figure, but as a screenwriter you have to show her both sides. I repeat: it was both a saint and a prostitute, ”he closes.

Finally, his script served as the basis for mediating the ‘90 Alan Parker to direct Evita, with Madonna as the protagonist.

She was a wonderful figure, but as a screenwriter you have to show her both sides. I repeat: it was both a saint and a prostitute.

Stone is remembering Menem, sitting at a narrow table, against the window of a stately hall of the Duhau Palace in Recoleta. The gloom and the air conditioning collaborate so that the drowsiness of the afternoon is suffered only by the evildoers and the outside guards. We had to wait an hour until the nap neutralized the jet lag of the interviewee. After this 73-year-old man (a kind of Marvel Mole humanized by Quino's pen) woke up, bathed and corporized, he already had something similar to a film set with nothing to film, where it took place the 25 minute talk with the filmmaker.

With Cristina Fernández de Kirchner. Scene from the movie "South of the Border" (2009).

Impossible intimacy: its collaborators surround us. And between answer and answer, Stone breaks the fourth wall to ask them about whether or not to talk about certain issues before Clarín. For example, ask who the president was when he first came to our country. "Ah, Alfonsin, ok," he corroborates. “I was here many times between 1986 and 1987. I was looking for locations to film Pancho Villa (which was never done) and Platoon, because I was interested in what I saw in The Mission of Roland Joffé (which was filmed in the Falls). I talked to Luis Puenzo, but it didn't happen finally. ”Why did he come to Argentina right now? Only data is drained: a dinner with the Fernández at the time of being president and vice; a meeting with the social leader Juan Grabois and a talk with Jorge Fontevecchia (Editorial Profile). He is cooking a documentary about the political situation in South America, a decade south of the border.

─ It's amazing how Latin America changed since 2008.

─ I think the pink tide – as it was called the simultaneous rise of leftist governments by popular vote – backed down, as there was a very cl ear movement of bankers and intelligence services in the US, in cooperation with South American services, the usual collaborators in each country. I think they worked very hard to make this happen, and when they couldn't, they used legal means, such as Lawfare, the "legal war." In Brazil it was disgusting as they did. In Bolivia, there was directly a coup d'etat. I think that when people know the truth of the facts, they will see that the media also played a very important role. It shows that I am just waking up and I realize that I talk about this with Clarin, who are the bad guys, right? (smiles rogue, raising his bushy eyebrows).

─ So, did you come to film South of the border part 2?

─That movie was a turning point for me, because it was the first time I felt that the media had turned much more to the right, because of the war, because of the 2001 attack. After having defended Chavez, they didn't ask me more interviews on any public radio in the country. The New York Times asked me many questions, and said nothing good about the documentary. But it was not the first time this happened: neither my film about Fidel Castro (Looking for Fidel) and that of Palestine (Persona Non Grata) were well received.

With Vladimir Putin With him he made the 4-hour documentary The Putin Interviews (2017).

─How do you see the sociocultural particularity of Argentina in the context of Latin America?

─ I don't know; I see him, for example (points out to his side the Argentine Fernando Sulichin, consecrated Argentine producer who also works with Scorsese, Sean Penn, David Lynch, Spike Lee and others), which is a mixture of Jewish and Spanish, and I I realize that you are all immigrants, but you don't seem so. It is true that Argentina was always whiter than black, but I don't know the origins. I only see the continent and I believe that Argentina has been a satellite of the United States and that is the biggest problem. Chavez had the right idea: all the countries of the continent must unite. If they could be a single country, to realize the Bolivarian idea, it would be incredible and they would no longer be so pressured by the US. Argentina is surrounded by countries with right-wing governments.

I only see the continent and I believe that Argentina has been a satellite of the United States and that is the biggest problem.

Brazil turned to the ultra right.

Son Bolsonaro is the one at the counter, a fool, a figure like Trump. But it is not he who has the command. Therefore, I wish Alberto Fernández good luck; We are aware that you are being pressured.

From now on, a "press monologue" will take place. Rather than answering the few questions we managed to complete, the interviewee's ear will hunt in the air the hashtag from which to expand and then start his rap. After consulting your collaborators, of course. Biting is a feat …

So the first hashtag is #Venezuela.

“By God, everyone hits Maduro, but he's holding on. And you have to endure, because when you fight against the empire – as Chávez told us – they have no scruples. And I think that people who are only a little progressive, or directly neutral, or progressive in the sense of saying ‘I like moderation, balance’, don't help, because they end up kissing some dictator's ass. That is the nature of things, not only in South America, it is in life. ”

Everyone hits Maduro, but he's holding on. And you have to endure, because when you fight against the empire, they have no scruples.

Then, the second hashtag: # Thought Police. He caught it in a question about how he survived so many years on the left of Hollywood.

“Everything in the US It is inflated. Everything: sentences, illnesses, crime, hysteria. And now, the Russians. Russia is in our schools, in our cereals, in our minds. ‘Russia stole the elections,’ they say. Please, where are we? It is very difficult to keep our minds pure and simple when they try to distort things all the time. That is the police of thought. It is something that is in the 1984 book by George Orwell. In the USA. there is a lot of that today. ”

Hence the need to film documentaries, to counterbalance that supposed manipulation? In his fictions there are also researchers who unravel conspiracies, in Salvador, JFK, Snowden …

─Yes, serious research documentaries are needed. But there are so many crap documentaries. And if they make a documentary about the US war against Russia, they end up taking sides with the US. I made two documentaries about Ukraine. They don't give them in my country. They do show the 12 hours of The Untold Story of the United States (2012), which premiered on television and was highly valued by progressive historians. Documentaries must be a field of political and cultural dispute, if not, why? There is talk of "the country of freedom", that you can say what you want, but economic tightening exists. You could not speak well of Russia, Iran or North Korea. Also in France or in England there are limitations and pressures. The world closed globally. Did you watch the movie Dark Waters (by Todd Haynes)?

.Yes

─Well, it's progressive, it criticizes corporations, but the problem is another: to address US foreign policy issues, or the army. That area is not touched. Since I touched her in the ‘80s, the Pentagon and the CIA were harassing me, making my life more difficult. They worship the CIA in my country. But I don't have to say this: I'm getting in trouble!

There is talk of 'the country of freedom', that you can say what you want, but economic tightening exists. You could not speak well of Russia, Iran or North Korea.

The director pauses. He has red cheeks pulling fuchsia (a shower too hot?) And asks the air for a glass of water. His emphatic discourse about Heroism, Strength, Leadership ensues. Values ​​all that involve overcoming one's own vulnerability and defending the weakest. Values ​​that can be ratified in many of the protagonists (always male) of his cinematography (from Alexander the Great to Vladimir Putin, through John F. Kennedy).

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Declares: “Leaders have to be strong. You have to be a strong man. I know that Putin is very attacked in my country, but Putin is a strong man, and perhaps many times he has acted outside the law, but the employer has been one of subsistence and maintenance of Russian interests. And that is important. Leaders have to defend their interests. And you have to be able to see who the enemy is, who is against you. The USA. They put together a great game, it's a hypnosis show. There is talk of freedom, democracy, but you have to do it our way. And people have been in the trap for 70 years, but I think that will change. The empire will come to an end. Well I hope so".

Oliver wants to change the subject. “You got me into politics; how easy it is to deceive me, ”he says again with his eyebrows raised. "We would have to talk about cinema," he asks.

─Just, how it gets along with Net-flix, the new Hollywood.

─Yes, streaming changed the business. In homes there is better technology. Today going to the movies is rather a luxury, in terms of cost. And it's always good to go out and watch a movie with strangers. But it is no longer a necessity. The problem is that there are too many possibilities now, as in supermarkets, and for people it is difficult to choose. When you reach the fifth column of a streaming channel, there are three or four marked options that you have already forgotten. If I make a movie in the most original way I can, and it is successful, in a year or less, there will be movies that will copy it. Everything goes to television format very quickly. Therefore, you have to believe in yourself, in a very strong way to survive those imitations.

After the assumption of Alberto Fernández, after a nap, in the Palacio Duhau./ Photo: Andrés D 'Elía.

Time is up. Stone prepares for the photos, which translates into leaving his blue passport, a metal cigar case with Soviet aesthetics and the hotel keys, as if he were going through customs control. The whole meeting took place in a cloud of freshly scented aroma. An olfactory bubble inside that cold smell of the Palace, always alive and polished marble, which always reminds Recoleta.

Oh sorry, I wanted to ask you one last thing.

(He continues talking to his collaborators – "Is it useful to have mentioned the other documentary?" -. He does not hear.)

─ It said: what perfume do you use?

─Use cologne, not perfume.

Cuál And what is it? I was smelling it throughout the interview.

IvenGivenchy.

Pronounce the brand in perfect French. Of course, he raised his dense eyebrows again. Surely, that is not a question asked of a man. Even less, a strong man. The issue of women's shoes has been settled.

What comes with 2020

"I am in the middle of a documentary about JFK," says Stone. "I returned to the subject after the 1991 film, and for the film came a law, creating the Assassination Records Review Board. They did a good job, but in the end, Trump never released all the records. I want to put that investigation together as a legacy. I don't know if people have the analytical mind to understand that murder, but it's one of the most important turning points in US history, "he says.

The other project is that of his memories. "They will leave in July, about the first forty years of my life and my time in the Vietnam War." There is another documentary: about renewable energy. “It is based on the book A bright future, by Joshua Goldstein. It has a lot to do with the need for nuclear energy, ”he says. And fiction? Will there be part 3 of Wall Street? "Do not! Money does not sleep, it is true. But I never thought that the situation could be worse than in 1987 and 2010. ”

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