Stone on Charlottesville: "Deep State" Is
"Bigger Problem" Than Trump
By Nick Holdsworth
director spoke about the U.S. political
system during a master class at the
Sarajevo Film Festival.
16, 2017 "Information
- Oliver Stone has said in response to the
Charlottesville riots that the problem is not
President Donald Trump, but "the system" in
The director, whose latest work is a four-hour
series of televised interviews with Russian
President Vladimir Putin that aired on
June, did not specifically criticize Trump when
asked for his reaction to the weekend's events
in Charlottesville, Va., during which one woman
died and several people were injured after a car
plowed into non-violent demonstrators.
Speaking Tuesday during a master class at the
Sarajevo Film Festival following a screening of
his movie Snowden, Stone said he had
not been in the U.S. for some time but was
are all trying to get to Trump every day, but
there is a bigger problem," the filmmaker said
when asked what he thought of President Trump's
initial failure to call out white supremacists
in his response to the Charlottesville events.
is a system [in America], and that system
existed before Trump," Stone said. "Putin said
this is the fourth [U.S.] president where
nothing has changed. There is a deep state, a
military industrial security state. ... It is
the system that has to be challenged. [Trump] is
part of that system."
reiterated: "It is the system that has to be
challenged. That takes work and is never as
exciting as talking about some lunatic
Visibly more comfortable taking questions on
Snowden, a dramatization of the
story of NSA whistleblower
Edward Snowden, than talking about current
events, Stone added that the situation in the
U.S. today was scarily close to the kind of
world George Orwell wrote about in his
is here. We are there. The only thing they have
not yet done is to erase history … there are
still people who remember things," he said. "One
week it is terrorism [that dominates the
headlines], the next week Putin and the next
Stone said, "just like Hate Week in 1984,
where the name of the country and the face of
the leader changes halfway through a rally. They
are doing it now and getting away with it."
director said he had been "offered a good amount
of money to make a feature" about Putin shortly
after his documentary came out, but declined
because he is not Russian and does "not
understand how they talk to each other; the way
they are intimate with each other."
Stone added that he had learned a lot from the
Russian leader about how the "geopolitical
balance" works in the world.
is currently working on a 10-part dramatized TV
series about the U.S. military prison in
Guantanamo Bay. He said he plans to direct two
episodes and supervise a team of writers for the
rest of the hourlong installments.
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