Oliver Stone’s 4-hour interview with Putin, sent / released around three weeks ago, is dealt with in different ways on the web. Surely, criticism have been heard . Mikhail Khodorkovsky‘s bulletin “Otkrytaya Rossiya” (= “Open Russia”) contents a critical response on 25/6.
I bring some of that article here, as far as to the mentioning of an interesting observation:
A cynic in the Kremlin
“Otkrytaya Rossiya” about why it’s not worth it that Putin is proud over Oliver Stone’s film about himself.
Just the fact that Vladimir Putin has entered the row of “Stone Heroes” – a definite milestone in his biography – can hardly please Putin himself, says “Otkrytaya Rossiya” – journalist, Stanislav Kuwaldin.
In his documentary interview films, Oliver Stone has left some of the technical details from the recordings in the movies. So it was in the movie “The Commander”, dedicated to Fidel Castro, and according to the same principle he is working also in the film about Yasser Arafat – “Persona non grata”. The film “Interview with Putin” is no exception.
While talking with the Russian president, either in the dacha in Novo-Ogarevo or in the Kremlin Palace painted halls, or in the Sochi residence, Stone does not only picture Putin, but he also leave space for different workstations – a microphone on a long stick, camera movements, co-workers trying not to end up in the camera , and other episodes from the recording process.
Perhaps the director would thus give the “image” increased credibility. But as far as the Russian President is concerned, the effect, as it seems, is completely different: Kremlin’s magnificent halls and the dacha guest room’s give the impression of being cardboard decorations that have been brought together especially for the purpose that they will place the hero there among them.
Well, maybe in this lies a certain artistic truth.
Just the fact that Vladimir Putin has entered the row of “Stone Heroes” – a definite milestone in his biography – can hardly please Putin himself
Stone has strived not only this last decade to make documentary films about such figures, that do not have the best reputation among representatives of American political mainstream. For a long time, a friend of the left, Stone accuses the American establishment of trying to impose its sovereignity worldwide, and in his film interviews he seeks to show how these rejected individuals may be right.
The problem, on the other hand, consists in the fact that this method, disputable as it is, may seem positive to highlight such charismatic people as Fidel Castro, but in Putin’s case, it leaves the audience wondering. Stone worked with his film for almost two years: the interview with Putin was recorded between 2015 and 2017. But, overall, Stone does not succeed to get from the Russian President any truth that could be a valuable enlightenment for humanity.
It is difficult to say how satisfied Stone himself is with his work, and how much he learned about the Russian president during these two years. In his interviews, which make up the film, he emphasizes on several occasions that Putin is perceived as a common conservative politician in the United States
In particular, it may be worth noting that Stone is a rather specific interviewer. He rarely asks questions. Often, during the conversation with Putin, he only present his own perceptions, which he has formed far before the interview, and he simply offers Putin to agree with what he says.
For example. At the beginning of the movie, Stone simply tells Putin about details of Putin’s biography: about his difficult childhood in Leningrad, about the important role that judo training has played in the president’s life, and about the entry into KGB’s higher education. Throughout that stage Putin hardly ever says anything, because everything that one needs to know about him, the director Oliver Stone tells us.
What is interesting here is just Putin’s remark that he ended up in KGB because of a previously drafted plan, because in the Soviet Union, after completion of higher education it was required to work at the place where the state sent you.
This probably stirs up questions when someone has little knowledge of late Soviet realia and of the principles for being recruited for the KGB, and also when someone understands very well that a mandatory deployment in the secret police and intelligence service is contrary to common sense.
Psychologically, this is a very important detail. Putin does not deny that the task corresponds to his wishes, but he provides the case with exotic elements for the novices, in order to kind of distance himself from the KGB, and to present the case so as if his destiny was settled virtually without his consent.
Exactly the same way – over the head of Putin – but in Putin’s presence, Oliver Stone tells about the president’s achievements, which have “regained the respect for the elderly people”, raised retirement, lifting the electrical industry (difficult to say how, but Oliver Stone mean exactly that) and strengthened the power of the Russian state. Putin just needs to jump into the required places, or slightly make objections when the worldview of the left-oriented director directly opposes Putin’s own perceptions of his achievements …
Certainly worth considering.
On Friday 7/7, Putin is supposed to meet Trump in Hamburg. Mr. Putin had four hours in american and western TV, while mr. Trump haven’t written even a 4 second tweet worthy of our attention. Their odds in a nutshell ?