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Wednesday, April 7, 2010 as of 11:14 AM ET

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  • Oliver Stone on Hugo Chavez: He's an honest man

    Film director Oliver Stone (AP)

    Controversial film director Oliver Stone defended the subject of his latest documentary “South of the Border” this weekend, calling Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez, “an honest man.”

    Speaking at Pepperdine University, Stone gave a special screening of the film and then hosting a Q&A on the content. The film is about Stone’s own personal journey into South America, where he explores the civil unrest and bloodshed in the region. But in the process, he slams the American government and the media in what most critics call his most divisive film yet.

    But while he chats up some of the continent’s most well known and even notorious figures, including Bolivia’s Evo Morales, Cuba’s Raul Castro and Argentina’s Cristina Kirchner, it is Chavez who earns the most screen time.

    According to Stone, Chavez is a public servant with good intentions, rather than the dictator he is often painted as by nearly everyone else.

    “He’s an honest man,” the Malibu Times quoted Stone as saying. “I sense no corruption in him.”

    “Some people may say [the film is] ‘softball,’” Stone said, “but at least it’s counter to what’s out there. Any time something happens, you have to look beyond the surface. Go a little further. Think, ‘Why?’”

    Stone was also critical of the Obama administration, saying his administration’s policy toward Latin America is “ the same old sh*t.”

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