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Oliver Stone: We are going to miss Fidel

oliver stone recortadaSpeaking in Havana, the award-winning U.S. filmmaker Oliver Stone recalled his admiration for the leader of the Cuban Revolution, Fidel Castro, who he described as “a brilliant person who predicted everything that has happened in the world since 2001.”

Stone, who presented his most recent film, Snowden, based on the analyst who denounced the U.S. mass global surveillance system, during the 38th Havana International Festival of New Latin American Cinema, said that Fidel “had the ability to see everything very clearly,” and noted that “all those of us who knew him will miss him.”

The filmmaker, winner of three Oscars, traveled to Cuba several times to meet with Fidel for the documentaries Comandante (2003), Looking for Fidel (2005) and Castro in Winter (2012).

“I made the film Comandante with the idea that it would be a historical profile of the man. The film can be seen on YouTube, but it could never be screened in theaters in the United States because they censored it and removed it a week before it was due for release,” Stone told Granma.

The director of The Doors explained that he later returned to Havana to film Looking for Fidel for HBO.

“Then we made Looking for Fidel, which was possibly the most aggressive interview with Fidel. I asked him very difficult questions and that movie was screened on HBO. However, given the good job that Fidel did answering the questions they do not put it on enough on U.S. television. HBO instructed me to ask Fidel hard, tough questions, to put him on the spot. As you all know, that was not easily done and he was brilliant in his answers to all my questions. I think that’s why HBO has not shown the movie again,” he explained.

The filmmaker offered a press conference on Sunday, December 11, at Havana’s Hotel Nacional alongside Cuban intellectual Ricardo Alarcón, who noted that “The Cuba of Fidel Castro will continue for a long time and Fidel’s death poses a very big challenge for Cuban men and women and the Fidelistas who are outside Cuba.”

“Fidel Castro will continue to live to the extent that we Cubans want him to, as long as we are able not to simply repeat slogans and phrases, but to try to maintain him as the tremendous example of dedication to everything he did. Fidel was committed to all his work and took care of even the smallest detail. Being able to be like this is the means by which he will survive in each of us and in our society,” Alarcón added.

Oliver Stone’s new film is the story of former CIA consultant Edward Snowden, who denounced the agency’s massive espionage system, which included access to U.S. citizens’ private data and that of people across the world, under the auspices of the fight against terrorism.

The film follows the strong political content of Stone’s work, who indicated that he tried to be as faithful as possible to reality with this film.

“Edward Snowden was always attentive to the filming. He made changes, fixes and technical clarifications and when the film was finished he saw it because he was fully aware of the process,” the filmmaker explained.

Joseph Gordon-Levitt plays the starring role in the film, alongside award-winners Nicolas Cage and Melissa Leo, and Shailene Woodley, among others.


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