Ollie Loves Hugo & Hugo Loves Ollie

Oliver Stone's long awaited documentary "South of the Border," opens this Friday here in America. Let's hope that Stone's latest film can match the kind of phenomenal numbers that it drew during it's first two weeks in Venezuela. In a nation which is struggling with power, water and food shortages, Stone's homage to misunderstood Latin American leaders (like Hugo Chavez) afforded the beleaguered citizens of Venezuela an opportunity to witness the spectacle of abundance. Having grossed over $18K in only it's first twelve days the documentary has created an incredible excess of available seating at theatres throughout the country.

In her review of "South of the Border," which she refers to as "Natural Born Shillers," Karina Longworth of the
Village Voice (it wasn't easy finding a review) writes.

About 10 minutes in, the iconic filmmaker appears onscreen for the first time alongside Hugo Chavez, the charismatic, controversial leader of Venezuela. This is not a sit-down interview; the filmmaker isn't directing questions at Chavez, or apparently directing much of anything-they're just hanging out...


Stone and Chavez seem especially palsy-walsy: They kick around a soccer ball, kick it on Chavez's private jet, and casually shoot the (expletive deleted) about how Chavez is a misunderstood man of the people, unfairly demonized by the media...His crush on Chavez is such that he avoids interrogating not only his politics, but also his demonstrated tendency to pitch those politics via a kind of over-the-top comic public theatre.

"South of the Border" may have been a bust in Venezuela, but the odds are excellent that it will be a good draw among the eastern liberals and the Hollywood crowd. Can't you just picture the gala Hollywood premier? Look over there on the left (far left) it's Danny Glover! Did I see Susan Sarandon and Jane Fonda avoiding a homeless producer? Is that Hugo's close friend Sean Penn walking down the red carpet? If only he would attack a photographer we could tell for sure.

Something tells me that Stone's extreme-left propaganda film won't play in Peoria, but don't be surprised if it should win an Oscar for best documentary or perhaps the discredited anti-American badge of dishonor known as the Nobel Prize.