In his continuing quest to become the world’s biggest attention whore, Oliver Stone is preparing a ten hour (!!) “documentary” entitled “Oliver Stone’s Secret History of America,” to be aired on Showtime later in 2010. The series promises to reveal the dirty secrets of American history to all those ig’nant yokels who didn’t have the time (or reading skills) to slog through Howard Zinn’s various publications.
That is to say we get to learn about how Adolf Hitler was a scapegoat and are promised a more “factual representation” of the life of Josef Stalin, who “fought the German war machine more than any person.” Not to mention the fine job he did with that whole “building socialism in one country” thing.
In any case, Stone promises audiences a narrative that is free of the simplistic “good vs. evil” stereotypes we’ve all become used to after being treated to films like Saving Private Ryan and Band of Brothers. You see, Oliver Stone understands that Adolf Hitler and Josef Stalin weren’t one-dimensional cartoons. He grasps the fact that they were actual human beings who were shaped by the historical currents of their time, and can’t be reduced to mere caricatures. One might ask how a busy filmmaker like Stone found the time to comb through the archives and painstakingly construct his argument. The answer is that all that stuff’s for nerds. Quoth Stone:
I’ve been able to walk in Stalin’s shoes and Hitler’s shoes, to understand their point of view. You cannot approach history unless you have empathy for the person you may hate.
Woah dude. Deep.