The S Word

Living in a moment of American history in which political rhetoric is reaching a fever pitch, I would hope an informed citizen would want to take advantage of any opportunity to gain a glimpse into the lives of some of our fellow world citizens who live under governments much different than our own. During the preceding decade, our president’s tense relationship with certain South American leaders precluded anything more than us/them, good guys/bad guys dichotomous portrayals.

Well, Oliver Stone is seeking to put an end to that with his film South of the Border.

Stone went down to South America and gained unprecedented access to seven of its elected presidents; Hugo Chávez (Venezuela), Evo Morales (Bolivia), Lula da Silva (Brazil), Cristina Kirchner (Argentina), as well as her husband and ex-President Néstor Kirchner, Fernando Lugo (Paraguay), Rafael Correa (Ecuador), and Raúl Castro (Cuba).

Stone seems a little crazy to me (he gave me that impression during a recent appearance on Real Time), and I hear he is extremely pals-y with Chavez, nevertheless, this look inside is important for Americans who, for some time now, have been cut off form any sort of sympathetic coverage of  South American politics.

In what is surely a highly controversial film and subject, there is undoubtedly much to be gained by watching such a social and political document with an open and critical mind.

South of the Border is playing at Zeitgeist. Tuesday-Thursday at 5:30 pm and 7:30 pm. Friday-Sunday at 5:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m., through Aug. 5

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