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Americas

Oliver Stone slams Obama for not 'changing the course of history'

Video by FRANCE 24

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2012-11-07

In an exclusive interview with FRANCE 24 on Monday, American film director Oliver Stone pledged his support for President Barack Obama but expressed his disappointment with the US leader because he "hadn’t changed the course of history".

Speaking to FRANCE 24 on Monday, US director Oliver Stone said that while he had already cast his vote for Barack Obama in the election, he was disappointed with America’s first black president.

Speaking of his new televised series, “Oliver Stone’s Untold History of the United States”, the famed US director said that while being America’s first black president was a “great honour”, Obama should not fear upsetting opposition supporters and critics, and aim to “be more like Martin [Luther] King”.

“Say what you mean, stand up for it and take your hits,” he said, as though addressing the incumbent. “People will hate you, [but] you can’t be scared of the Republicans.”

But while he criticised a meek first term from Obama, Stone urged “any progressive voter in any of the swing states to vote for him”.

“Frankly, he inherited a mess; a very sick situation. He was able […] to bring it back and I don’t think anyone could have done it better,” he said. He also complimented the president’s trim figure.

Shaping history

Stone compared Obama with former US presidents George W. Bush and Ronald Reagan, who he said had changed the course of history during their respective periods in power -- but not for the better. “Reagan made a huge difference to the country: he heralded in three decades of ruling right-wing politics,” he said.

“And Bush really hurt us in a significant way. He was a real nightmare.”

Obama's story, Stone said, was not worthy of a screenplay because he “hadn’t changed the course of history”.

“It’s not enough just being the first black president”, he said.

Stone was promoting his new TV series, in which he looks into recent US history.

“There’s no better story than history,” he said. “When I was young, I didn’t learn the truth, it was an upside-down history, it was America was the good cowboy and we were doing the right thing.”

“But I believe that history does have a meaning, purpose; that there is a pattern to be found.”

 

Date created : 2012-11-05

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