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Live from Abu Dhabi Connect the World takes you on a journey across continents, investigating the stories that are changing our world.

Monday and Tuesday's Connector: Oliver Stone

June 21st, 2010
12:40 PM ET

Oliver Stone is one of America's most celebrated movie directors - as well as one of the most controversial.

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/06/21/stone.art.gettyimages.jpg
caption="Oliver Stone is your Connector of the Day."]

The 63-year-old director is well-known for his films including, "Platoon," "Midnight Express," Wall Street," and "Natural Born Killers."

His work has earned him three Academy awards - best adapted screenplay for "Midnight Express," best director for "Platoon" and best director for "Born on the Fourth of July."

Stone, who grew up in New York City, had an early fascination for political discussion and after his first year of university at Yale, Stone left the U.S. to teach english in South Vietnam.

After spending time in South Vietnam, Stone returned to the United States, only to be drafted in the Vietnam war as an infantry soldier.

Stone fought in the war through 1967 and 1968 and for his actions, was awarded the Bronze Star with Valor, and the Purple Heart.

After his experiences in the war, Stone created three films on the topic - "Platoon," "Born on the Fourth of July," and "Heaven and Earth."

All three of which were generally well received.

Some of Stone's other notable and sometimes controversial films, include "Wall Street" and "JFK".

Stone has often been criticized for his films which opponents say promote conspiracy theories and historical inaccuracies.

Today, Stone has finished his sequel to the original "Wall Street" movie and will release "Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps" later this year.

Here's your chance to quiz acclaimed movie director Oliver Stone.

Do you want to know what his favorite film has been to work on? Maybe you want to know what he thinks of the current political situation in the United States? Is there a topic that he wants to make a film about which he hasn't?

Please leave your questions and comments below and be sure to tell us where you're writing from.

You can also send in your questions via Twitter @BeckyCNN

soundoff (47 Responses)
  1. Jurgen R. Brul

    What message do you want to give to the world through the film “Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps”?

    Greetings,
    Jurgen R. Brul
    Paramaribo, Suriname

    June 21, 2010 at 1:39 pm | Reply
  2. Dave

    I'd like to see more about the Bush family...maybe something about Prescott stealing Geronimo's bones, or GHW Bush's time in Texas, perhaps something connecting the dots between JFK and W. The final scene of W haunts me and I still want to know more about their legacy.

    June 21, 2010 at 2:09 pm | Reply
  3. Xavier Bellante

    An opportunity like this rarely comes along so I intend to take advantage of it. I have been enjoying your movies for as long as I can remember, and I thank you for stimulating my brain as well as my emotions over the years.

    My question is this; I feel that one of the most heinous crimes perpetrated against the American people in recent memory is the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. As facts and rumors continue to surface regarding BP's abysmal safety policies and culture of corporate apathy, is the disaster in the Gulf and BP's response to it something you would ever consider investigating or making a film about?

    June 21, 2010 at 2:21 pm | Reply
  4. Imogen Sieveking

    Hello! I live in Guatemala and am apalled by Oliver Stone's support of Hugo Chavez. How can someone with even minimal knowledge of life outside the US be so taken in by such disastrous despotism?

    Thank you.

    June 21, 2010 at 3:45 pm | Reply
  5. Edith Varhelyi

    Oliver, this is Edith from Budapest. Nice to meet you.

    I was positively surprised to see Ridley and Tony Scott venturing into the world of television with The Good Wife last season. Have you ever had similar ambitions? If yes, what kind of story would you want to adapt to television. In other words what would it take to get you to do a similar if temporary departure?

    Kind regards

    Edith

    June 21, 2010 at 4:52 pm | Reply
  6. Carlos Arango

    Oliver... most nations around the world, including the USA need a dose of socialism, a 100% capitalistic system is just to harsh on the poor, but you sincerely agree with Mr Chavez policies? Or you just worked for him for the money?

    June 21, 2010 at 5:20 pm | Reply
  7. JW Hart

    Hello Oliver,

    Do you see the position of Wall Street during the 1980's and the position of Wall Steet today similar? Also the position of our US government has it changed for the better or worse since the 80's as far as regulations?

    June 21, 2010 at 5:23 pm | Reply
  8. William Kavanagh

    Why was the Sam Waterston/Richard Helms scene cut from the theatrical realease of Nixon?
    It's one of the most astonishingly powerful things I've ever seen and cutting it from the movie is like excising the beach scene from Saving Private Ryan or the beer garden scene from Cabaret.

    June 21, 2010 at 5:25 pm | Reply
  9. JERRY HAMMERMAN

    I saw Oliver Stone on Bill Mahr's season finale show and I believe even Bill was embarrassed by your support of Hugo Chavez and your naivety in this matter. Your intelligence was certainly not on display last nite, perhaps celebrity has distorted your ability to review facts rationally. Please do not help him and his thugs intimidate Venezuelans and his neighbors with his new brand of Dictatorship.

    Jerry Hammerman

    June 21, 2010 at 5:36 pm | Reply
  10. daniel gautreau

    Has much as I appreciate Mr Stone's work I differ with him on his take of Castro & Chavez. I saw his doc about Castro & I thought he was extremely soft on him. And has for Chavez, how can anyone possibly defend this idiot's dictatorship behaviour. Here's my point Mr. Stone. I challenge you to actually live in either country for a year, then talk to us! I have visited both & their lack of freedom & opportunity is ridiculous.

    Thanks,

    Daniel Gautreau
    (I live in Canada)

    June 21, 2010 at 5:41 pm | Reply
  11. Pedro

    I am a Venzuelan Citizen, I love my country and feel in my flesh and bones the consecuences of the government of Hugo Chavez. I don't if we are talking about the same man, but the one that I know is sick to the bones with power, wants to rule the country until he dies, controls all the institutions in the country through the power of money, insults and offends anyone, and I mean ANYONE who dares to disagree with him (oppositors, church, his own alleys, poor people, rich people, former and current presidents of other countries, neighbors, even your own country and your own people) , disrespects women, is a compulsive liar, interferes every day in other countries internal affairs while threatenigh to go to war against anyone interfering with Venezuela's internal affairs, condems wealth and at the same time he and his alleys handle the money of all venezuelans as their own, spending like there is no tomorrow and living the good life, is absolutley desperate to go to war with anyone willing to go to war with him, that's the one I'm talking about. America is the evil empire he says, EVIL, but every day, He, the pure socialist , revolutionary leader who is totally against the evil empire sends 1.5 Million BBLS of oil to America, each man has his price, don't you think Mr Stone.

    We have enough problems already, we don't need you to "help" us portraying this man as anything other than waht he really is. I'll tell you what, come to live with us, sell all your properties and exchange all your dollars for Bolivares (at the offcial rate obviously), buy a house in any of our dangerous cities where criminals run free killing people as they wish without any kind of justice, and don't worry about which one, you will find the same situation all around the country, find a job and try to live with the money the pay you here, because to please your hero you must get rid of all your wealth, money is evil Mr Stone, and after one year, if you are still alive and think the same way you do now you can put together another beautiful docummentary about your hero.

    How about that Mr Stone?, put your money where your mouth is and join us here in paradise.

    June 21, 2010 at 6:59 pm | Reply
  12. Jose Sanchez

    Why you like so much Hugo Chavez? did he pay you for makin gmovies about him? or you really love the dictator from Venezuela? Do you know how venezuelan people is suferring with that bastard? Do you know all the food have been thrown to gargabe in descomposition in venezuela because bad administration of hugo chavez pdval? tons and tons of food, if you fight with USARMY against vietnam comunism, why are you making movies showing comunism so nice? sorry my english

    June 21, 2010 at 8:00 pm | Reply
  13. William Marlowe

    Mr Stone,

    I believe your work "Heaven and Earth" is one of the finest movies ever made and your best work. I am a writer and have several scripts I want specifically to you, and only you, to read and direct. Please tell me how I can get them to you and have you read them. I promise you this, if you read them you will want to direct them, and if you direct them I will give everything I am paid for these scripts to a humanitarian cause of your choice.

    Please also visit my Humanitarian Volunteer Doumentary Network where volunteers around the world can post photo essays and video documentaries of their volunteer experiences at http://www.thinkwinwin.com

    William Marlowe
    Writer & Photogrpher

    June 21, 2010 at 8:11 pm | Reply
  14. Jim Brimhall

    My son wants to be the next Oliver Stone. He has been accepted to Harvard for the dual degree MBA/Law and NYU Tisch for the MBA/MFA
    media degrees. Which one would be best?
    Dad Jim

    June 21, 2010 at 8:22 pm | Reply
  15. Firaz Jikir

    Mr Stone,

    Why do you give Hugo Chavez any importance at all? He has promoted hatred and violence, divided a nation and in exchange has given nothing, rather taken away, and squandered all. Are you informed at all?

    June 21, 2010 at 8:23 pm | Reply
  16. Firaz Jikir

    Germany

    June 21, 2010 at 8:24 pm | Reply
  17. John

    Mr. Stone. I have no questions. I truly admire your work. Please continue to do what you are doing. ppl like you are rare. My only hope is that one day you add to your impressive collection of work a documentary or movie that depicts the suffering of the Palestinian people.

    June 21, 2010 at 8:29 pm | Reply
  18. Jorge Miranda

    I have nothing to ask of someone as low as this parasite of society who worships money and idolizes bloody criminals such as Che Guevara and Fidel Castro.
    I suspect he now also admires the next-in-line of the cuban monarchy:Raul Castro.

    June 21, 2010 at 8:48 pm | Reply
  19. Albert

    Mr. Stone. Have you ever thought of making a film about Bush Sr. And Bush Jr. and their wars in Iraq. It´s a fantastic story of personal revenge that ruined American economy!

    June 21, 2010 at 9:24 pm | Reply
  20. Stefan

    Hi Mister Stone,

    I enjoy both your movies and documentaries and I look forward to your documentary in the works called secret history.
    What i would like to know is how can you as a director or the average viewer make sure that all this information is received by as many as possible so they can make up their own mind about current issues and history. Cause at the moment i feel those who watch your documentaries already have a good idea what is going on in the world but those who should be watching it ignore it knowing it could distort their way of thinking.

    Thank you

    Stefan

    June 21, 2010 at 9:42 pm | Reply
  21. Stefan

    Im sorry i forgot to add from Belgium 🙂

    June 21, 2010 at 10:10 pm | Reply
  22. OSCAR DIQUEZ

    How self centered can a Person like OLIVER STONE could be not to understand the fact that a democracy it no only the act of holding a "fair" election, every once in a while. It has more to do with "... respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms, ... the pluralistic system of political parties and organizations, and the separation of powers and independence of the branches of government...Transparency in government activities, probity, responsible public administration on the part of governments, respect for social rights, and freedom of expression and of the press are essential components of the exercise of democracy. HUGO CHAVEZ does not comply with nothing of the above, how blind can you be. Shame on You

    June 21, 2010 at 10:49 pm | Reply
  23. Saadin Solah

    Hi Oliver. I live in Ecuador and we are sufering now the results of having elected a Chavez-like president. Correa now controls the legislative power, influences the courts and controls over 70% of all tv stations and change the constitution to increase his mandate from 4 years to 8 with reelection. He uses our tax money to make blatant propaganda and attack anybody that opposes him and uses oil money to buy popularity through handouts. Crime and unemployment are increasing to unbearable levels and the country's progress has been stopped. His model of government depends on having a large poor and ignorant electorate so this is what he is perpetuating. How can you support these type of populist un-democratic governments that destroy freedom and the middle class? They are demagogues and logical analysis of the results of their actions demonstrate the failure of their policies in erradicating poverty and generating wellbeing. They are now using your image to prop-up theirs.

    June 21, 2010 at 11:30 pm | Reply
  24. Jonathan

    Even though the American public still thinks "conspiracy theories" are always bad and never accurate, I would love to see a blockbuster come out using the loads and loads of documented evidence that suggests 9/11 was an inside job. Americans don't want to believe in "conspiracy theories" because they're too scared, but we can't keep ignoring facts and evidence by believing everything the government tells us. I'm thinking something like a hypothetical trial scenario where the Bush administration's stories are put to the test and definitively shown to be a load of crap against the evidence...you know, something that clearly follows the reality of the situation.

    June 21, 2010 at 11:50 pm | Reply
  25. Carlito

    Mr Stone,
    We all know your positions are controversial, when it comes to Chavez in particular (and your dictator mustache doesn't help) – but I love your work as a filmmaker, director of actors, shooting and cutting style (especially in JFK) and look forward to all your future work. My question is this though: in order to make the world more fair, and truth more evident, as a filmmaker whose work is seen and discussed, isn't it important to challenge your own positions and actions to ensure that you don't become a caricature of yourself, in some way giving your adversaries the fuel to convince themselves they were always right about you the whole time (even though they weren't)?
    Chavez may not be the villain painted by the Bush team, but with his efforts at pushing through laws to allow himself to be re-elected perennially, he is surely on a path of demagoguery and autocracy. That your comments seem to ignore this appears very naive, simplistic and puts at risk everything else you may say of value even in this regard. Plus I must say I found you somewhat morose, belligerent and snooty on the Maher show, like you were just waiting for it to be over. Even if you felt that way, it doesn't serve your purposes well, no mater how famous you are, or important. As a director no doubt you know the value of image and charm; on that show, watched by many who admire you, you turned a lot of people off. I would suggest if you're grumpy about doing a show, don't do it.

    June 22, 2010 at 12:09 am | Reply
  26. john h. meier

    I was an aide to Howard Hughes. Look me up on johnhmeier.com
    I know the real story of Howard. I watched as they pushed him to the point of being a vegetable and dying. This was in order to get his money. My family and i paid dearly for my trying to get the truth out. That was the story that you should have told.

    Regards
    Johnhmeier

    June 22, 2010 at 12:32 am | Reply
  27. ANtoine

    Hello Mr. Stone,

    I am a big admirer of your work on film (as a filmmaker but not at the accuracy of your story telling). I loved your screenplay for " Midnight Express" and your directorial master piece of "PLatoon" But when It comes to documentary depicting these third world dictators such as Castro and Hugo Chavez, I have to recent your skills and specially deplore your lack of knowledge of the two countries in the matter, Cuba and my country Venezuela. Your have to come and live here without the government's protection and assistance and learn how it is really like to have someone like Chavez as president. Both of your documentaries are faulty of total truthfulness and veracity but specially the one on Venezuela.
    PLease, research more before taking some poor country's money to enhance its ruler.

    Antoine,

    Maracaibo, Venezuela

    June 22, 2010 at 2:16 am | Reply
  28. ANtoine

    Based on my preceeding comments; How can you put into picture the recent findings in Venezuela of all the rotten food filled containers imported by the corrupt government of Venezuela and that Chavez and his main aide, Rafael Ramirez have not able to excuse? Is a ruler who tries to disguise this fact and who backs up the responsible ministers, like Ramirez worth a documentary made by you?

    Antoine,

    Maracaibo, Venezuela

    June 22, 2010 at 2:24 am | Reply
  29. Rafael

    Why did you choose to do a movie about a pseudo-dictator like Hugo Chavez? Did you really take the time to get all sides of the story or was this just a chance you saw to make easy money from a controversial topic like this Castro wannabe?

    June 22, 2010 at 2:28 am | Reply
  30. Victor Gonzalez

    Mr. Stone, i respect you for trying to present an alternative view on the latin american political situacion wich the usa media do not cover, but you also ignore the huge problems we venezuelans live in everyday situacion, what would you say to all of us who go out to the street every morning fearing that our car may be robbed, or that we may be killed by a burglar, or even kidnapped or get my sister raped in the middle of the night?, to all of us who suffer from defective roads, defective health and education services, who fear that our property could pass swiftly and without opportunity to defence to the hands of the state, who have to beg and pass through terrible burocracy for almost any legal procedure or to buy from the state the 400$ a year i'm allowed to spend on internet.

    Do you really think of chavez as a "modern" statesman or as a rich supporter of your work?

    June 22, 2010 at 2:33 am | Reply
  31. Fernando Alvarez

    Hello Mister Stone

    As a Venezuelan living in the worst crisis my country has faced how can you support Hugo Chavez when:

    1.- Hugo Chavez has made Venezuela one of the most violent countries in the world. In the capital where I live there is a toll of 50 death per week.

    2.- Hugo Chavez and his supporters have made Venezuela one of the most corrupted countries in latin america. Almost all goverment contracts have a 20% to 50% fee for goverment officials.

    3.- Hugo Chavez has applied laws that have helped him close one of the biggest opposition television stations and closed 34 opposition radio stations.

    4.- Hugo Chavez has destroyed Venezuelan economy by expropiating hundreds of companies with money the country doesn't have. Then he applies socialist policies to this companies and they go bankrupt.

    5.- In 10 years foreign investment in Venezuela has reduced significantly due to poor confidence in private investment.

    6.- Hugo Chavez has control of the law making, judicial, electoral systems. Everytime he goes on tv every sunday everything he says is executed by this systems without reply.

    7.- In 10 years many Venezuelan have emigrated to Colombia, Spain, US, Canada and Australia looking for a better life. Is the same argument that applies to cuba, raft people go from Cuba to US not the other way around.

    So how is it that you can support from your mansion in hollywood a political figure that has brought so much disaster and poverty to my country. Why don't you live a couple of months in Venezuela and try to go out an buy a car, or milk, or meat or go out at night and see if you still support Hugo Chavez.

    June 22, 2010 at 2:41 am | Reply
  32. Steven West

    Hi Oliver,
    Steven West previously from Telluride here, hope you remember me and the work I did with you. You already know I appreciate your work, so there is nothing really to ask other than you ask the Journalist for my email address. I am trying to find Burt, and I am sure you can help.
    Thanks
    P.S Mr./Ms. Editor, there is not any need for this go onto the blog, can you just pass it along. Thanks

    June 22, 2010 at 3:07 am | Reply
  33. Mike

    Dear Mr Stone,
    JFK inspired me to be more skeptical of any message or information put out by business and government... Aside from wanting to put forward the JFK conspiracy theory, was it your intention to reach out to the younger generation and encourage them be more discerning of the information they are fed? And do you think younger people today need to be reminded that all is never quite as it appears in the media?
    Mike

    June 22, 2010 at 3:18 am | Reply
  34. Richard Johnston

    Mr. Stone,
    Do you believe that president Kennedy may have been killed by inside U.S. government members who feared that Kennedy would pull out of Vietnam? Do you think the investigation of his assassination was a coverup?

    June 22, 2010 at 3:19 am | Reply
  35. Lachman

    Mr. Oliver Stone do not waste your precious time in interviewing or dedicating your time to dictators like Chavez, rather I would suggest you to dedicate your time in producing and directing movies, aimed at helping reduce if not eliminating poverty worldwide, helping in promoting education worldwide, helping in promoting spiritual values. By this I think you will do a great service to mankind, for which I think God will reward you one day.

    June 22, 2010 at 3:23 am | Reply
  36. Hilaymy Amaya

    I am from Venezuela. i ask Mr. Stone the same thing come and LIVE in Venezuela for a year and then make a movie. But dont come and stay at the presidential palace where you will be treated like a king and eat the best food ever, no! come here and rent an apartment at a regular Caracas neighborhood where they have no electricity almost everyday, no water everyday and where they could kill you just for a cellphone or a Nike shoes. LIVE in Venezuela and get a job and then get your paycheck and go grocery shopping and realize that that money isnt enough not even to get half of the things you need to feed your children, LIVE in Venezuela and try to buy a house or a farm or start a business so the government then comes and take it away from you just for the heck of it! LIVE in Venezuela and work on the media and critices Chavez and his policies so they can shut the station down to hear no criticism. LIVE in Venezuela, suffer our problems, go to a free hospital where you will die sitting on the floor just waiting to get a room or to get a medicine because tehy have NONE. LIVE in Venezuela but THE REAL VENEZUELA not the one you pretend to know and then go and make a movie about it and maybe you will earn my respect.

    Hilaymy Amaya
    Valencia, Venezuela

    June 22, 2010 at 3:43 am | Reply
  37. Adam Freeman

    When will the Chavez documentary be shown in Australia?

    There appears an interest in the issue here as more and more celebrities are "supporting" Chavez.

    Adam,

    June 22, 2010 at 3:48 am | Reply
  38. Nick

    Will you continue the American Hollywood tradition of rewriting history through movies. Most American people prefer your version of history as it is more entertaining & makes us feel better.
    I am looking forward to learning more about the world from you.

    June 22, 2010 at 6:33 am | Reply
  39. Enzo

    THe same here, supporting Chavez might be the "controversial, antisystem" thing that people look up to, but he is a despotist tyrant oppressing Venezuelans.

    I am quite left'winged and antiimperialist myself, but I can never support someone like him.

    June 22, 2010 at 6:53 am | Reply
  40. kalani

    what do you think about the modern Vietnameses that are living in the US?

    June 22, 2010 at 7:19 am | Reply
  41. Dimitris

    Hello Mr. Stone,

    If you could have made yourself one of the films that were actually made by Francois Truffaut and of those by Claude Lelouch (but only one film, choosing from the repertoire of both directors), which film would that be?

    Dimitris
    from Greece

    June 22, 2010 at 8:41 am | Reply
  42. Dario

    I saw Mr Stone's interview with the BBC "Hardtalk" and it was clear to me that Mr Stone really has no clue about the confilcts in Latin America. He kept answering that he had no idea and he was no expert...he has people who advise him on issues.....one can thus assume that his advisers are FARC members and that he must have been very well paid to support Chavez.
    Perhaps Mr Stone should make a nice movie portraying ETA as a nice humanitarian group in the northern Spain!
    As a Colombian living in Europe I am disgusted by the ignorance of Mr Stone's comments on Colombo/venezuelan issues. Chavez is no "beacon of leadership".

    June 22, 2010 at 10:00 am | Reply
  43. Simon Avila

    Mr. Stone
    I just wonder why didn't you interview other great Latin American leaders for your South of the Border movie. There is Mexico's Calderon, Costa Rica's Arias, Chile's Pinera, Colombia's Uribe, Hondura's Lobo, Panama's Martinelli and Peru's Garcia, just to name a few.
    Aren't you telling a biased one sided story?

    June 22, 2010 at 7:45 pm | Reply
  44. Smith in Oregon

    During a recent Oliver Stone interview on his upcoming movie focusing on South America, a South American President was shown and interviewed about his set down with then president Bush jr. in Monterrey California. The South American President mentioned how effective a 'Marshall plan' would be in rebuilding a nations economy. President Bush strongly disagreed and told the South American President point blank, WARS build good economic bases. Wars are good, Wars stimulate the economy. WAR? asked the South American President, we have no wars in our country at this time. The Evil that was pouring off Bush jr. was said to be palpable and the discussion was soon ended.

    June 23, 2010 at 8:54 am | Reply
  45. حسین

    Hi
    I am writing this comment from Iran
    Please ask him "Why he support the terrorists ?"
    People dieing here at the streets for freedom and he make "South of the Border" !!! to say "Chaves is Good terorist , The kind one " .
    We live here by scaring of death beacus we belive in love and freedom and he ask interview of mr.ahmadinejad for create hero of him .why ? are he blind ?
    God Bless .

    June 28, 2010 at 7:48 pm | Reply
  46. doug borruso

    just finished watching Oliver Stone and his nonsensical defense of Hugo Chavez. I live in Venezuela, and know first hand from the people themselves and my own observations that there is very little to applaud Mr Chavez about. If nationaliization of industry and stifling of the media and arresting of the opposition is worthy of support, then Chavez is a stellar performer. If diverting income from the nationalized business and transferring to his own hands, and the hands of his close supporters, is a valid description of wealth distribution and averting poverty, then Mr Chavez is also a star. Mr Stone needs to get off the shock value of his position, and spend a little time doing "real" research, not from the comfort of his hotel.

    June 28, 2010 at 9:07 pm | Reply
  47. William Marlowe

    CNN attacked Oliver Stone like I have never seen a CNN reporter do to any other person on this show or any other show on CNN. I would like to hear both sides of the story but obviously the CNN reporter did not want to hear what Oliver Stone had to say and kept saying he was biased and did not provide a balanced picture.

    Well CNN, and the CNN Reporter that attacked Oliver Stone, PROVIDE A BALANCED PICTURE. You obviously have the resources, the audience, and the broadcast facilities to provide a balanced picture... LET'S SEE YOU DO IT!

    June 30, 2010 at 9:15 pm | Reply

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