This just in: Oliver Stone leans a little to the left. His new documentary, South of the Border
, is not an intellectual or academic exploration of the recent rise of socialist (but democratically elected) leaders throughout South America, which Stone could have made with his eyes closed. More than anything, this is a turnstile, allowing the new leaders of Venezuela, Brazil, Argentina, Ecuador and Paraguay to talk about how much better life is under their regimes. This includes Hugo Chávez, who most Americans see either as a legitimate threat or a clownish boob, if they see him at all. There’s a little bit of insight into what makes Chávez tick, but Stone doesn’t even offer the other side. After all, Chávez isn’t controversial for no reason. There’s more to this new South America than Stone presents, but it’s a good introduction to a lot of the changes happening there. Just don’t expect a lot of counterpoint.