CHICAGO – “Drinking Buddies” director Joe Swanberg’s latest release of the same star wattage is “Happy Christmas,” an even lower-fi story than the Olivia Wilde beer comedy, steered even more by the casting that it was able to assemble. However, with this movie Swanberg doesn’t so much worry about having a story that could be confused with a more mainstream romantic comedy if it were to have a bigger budget.
Film Review: Oliver Stone Lends Another Point of View in ‘South of the Border’
CHICAGO – Oliver Stone, bless him, still has a fire in his belly to tackle controversial subjects and shine a light into the dark corners that the American media skitters away from on a daily basis. Part travelogue, part enlightenment and all Stone, “South of the Border is eye-opening documentary on the South American people revolution.
Focusing primarily on the vilified (in this country and elsewhere) Venezuelan leader Hugo Chávez, Stone digs into the American interests and involvement in the Chávez movement, where Venezuela’s rich oil fields are the goal, oil that capitalist interests can’t get their slick hands on due to the nationalization of the product by Chávez.
Going into the Chávez history, a history that includes the military, a media that was decidedly against his initial quest for power and a failed coup backed by the Bush administration, Stone shows the other side of how a canvas can be painted when portraying Hugo Chávez. And how despite tremendous effort and propaganda spewed, the monied interests can’t wrest power away from him.
This prevailing wind of Chávez-ism is rooted in the Castros of Cuba (Fidel, and now Raúl) and that wind is blowing throughout South America, long oppressed in the native society by outside colonialism, bent on reaping the benefits of their natural resources. The list of countries supportive of Chávez and electing similar presidents is becoming too big not to notice – Argentina, Paraguay and Brazil.
Through interviews with these new leaders and an analysis of Chávez, Oliver Stone again is the agent provocateur, using the art of the documentary as a lightning rod for a persuasive and incendiary point of view.
directed by Oliver Stone. Not Rated.
Photo Credit: Good Apple Productions