Film director Oliver Stone launched a critical rant against America’s love of money, its role in war and Barack Obama whilst at a film festival in Algeria where he was promoting his latest documentary Saturday.
Speaking mostly in French at a press conference in Algiers, Stone said he was shocked by the global financial crisis and “to see how money was venerated by America”.
Its middle class “is the biggest victim” said the US director, though nothing could be done to change a system which he called “undemocratic, even after the arrival of Obama”, he added.
But the 65-year-old had little sympathy for his compatriots.
“Americans are not really interested in problems abroad,” he said. “They have no empathy.”
The Occupy Wall Street movement would do better to move to “Washington and not New York, to have more impact”, said Stone, the son of a Wall Street trader and French mother and director of the aptly named 1987 film “Wall Street” and its sequel ” Wall Street: Money never sleeps” (2010).
The director was on a whirlwind 24-hour visit to the Algerian capital to promote his latest creation “The Untold Story of the US”, a 10-hour long documentary due for release in May, and “Savages”, a film exploring the links between young Californians and the Mexican drug cartels of the border town Tijuana.
Stone moved on to the Vietnam war, slamming “30 years of lies” surrounding Vietnam which inspired his 1986 film “Platoon”.
Americans had lived with the idea that “communism is going to dominate the world” whereas it collapsed in 1989, he said.
A “Nam” veteran himself, Stone said his life “was already perverted” when he went to war, explaining that he had only discovered the reality of military-industrial power after the war.
“It’s a system that is going to destroy the world,” he said.
Questioned over America’s support of Israel, Stone said it was a subject “that couldn’t be talked about in the US.
“There is such power, money, media and lobbying are so (powerful) that the truth can’t come out.”
But Stone did allow one small glimmer of hope for the country.
Even though American media had become “corrupt” since Vietnam, Stone said he was “an optimist” and “convinced that (corruption) can change”, he said.