(Stillness in the Storm Editor) The Putin Interviews are a four episode series produced by award winning director Oliver Stone. In short, they are a compelling and thought provoking look into a man, and a nation, which is being villainized by the propaganda media in the West, particularly left leaning outlets who are trying to paint him as the mastermind behind the alleged (and thoroughly debunked) Russia hack of the 2016 US presidential election.
Putin is no doubt a polished politician, but he doesn't come across as deceptive or pushing an agenda. Of course, this could be part of his well groomed appearance but when one considers the historical data Stone adds to the interviews, it paints a picture of Putin that is decidedly in contrast with the evil war monger portrayed by media outlets.
What's more, the Russian leader implies that he is keenly aware of the endemic frauds of the West, particularly the use of color revolutions to destabilize sovereign nations. And it also appears that the US and other interests likely allied via NATO are trying to make Russia out to be the next big enemy. Due to the failure of US officials to negotiate with Russia on anti-ballistic missile defense systems, a second cold war has been fomenting.
The videos below were uploaded to Youtube four days ago. I don't know how long they will be available, so be sure to download them via a service like keepvid.com.
Source - VOX
Oliver Stone’s Vladimir Putin interviews are accidentally revelatory
The director wants to find the humanity in the Russian leader. Too bad he’s not a better interviewer.
by Todd VanDerWerff, June 18th, 2017
Every Sunday, we pick a new episode of the week. It could be good. It could be bad. It will always be interesting. You can read the archives here. The episode of the week for June 11 through 17 is Showtime’s four-part miniseries The Putin Interviews.
The most telling moment in The Putin Interviews, director Oliver Stone’s four-hour conversation with Russian President Vladimir Putin, recorded over the course of nearly two years, comes late in the second hour.
Stone is trying to get Putin to say whether he does or doesn’t like then-presidential candidate Bernie Sanders. Putin demurs entirely, but offers up a theory of how power functions.
Should Sanders become president, Putin says, he would suddenly realize the vast weight of the American bureaucracy that existed underneath him. He might make some changes to the US on a domestic level, but he would ultimately be unable to change that much — the person at the head of the state matters less than the centuries of power the state has accumulated and will protect at all costs. People aren’t responsible for what happens; the vast structures surrounding them are. Look at Barack Obama, Putin suggests. He sincerely wanted to close the Guantanamo Bay prison, and did he? No. You can’t fight the state.
This is telling for two reasons. The first is that it, if true, explains Putin’s motives in regards to the United States in the time since that interview was conducted in 2016. But the second reason is even more telling. This isn’t just how Putin sees [insert US president here]. It’s how he sees himself: as a conduit for the vast sweep of history, guided less by his own political beliefs and desires than by forces even he can barely understand.
Oliver Stone is not a great interviewer, and that ultimately compromises this film
The knock against The Putin Interviews is that it’s a bit of hagiography on the part of Stone, who’s the kind of reflexive old lefty who sees the US as the root of almost all of the world’s ills and, therefore, anyone who opposes the US even mildly as a necessary evil to push back against the American-imposed darkness.
Regardless of how much you agree with this point of view, it’s animated nearly all of Stone’s films and documentaries, both good (JFK) and not so good (W.).
And it’s not a bad framework for a scripted film. In JFK, for instance, the idea that the US power structure is so entrenched that it will create a byzantine conspiracy to remove one man who dares oppose it even slightly becomes a vivid portrayal of the country’s darkest self. You don’t have to believe that JFK conspiracy theories are literally true to believe JFK is true, in other words. At his best, Stone gives us a way to discuss these fears we have about our country’s true aims.
But in a documentary — even a documentary with aims of propaganda — that framework works less well, because it becomes just as simplistic a frame for reality as “US good, everybody else bad.” Of Stone’s documentaries, his 10-part 2012 Showtime series The Untold History of the United Statesprobably came closest to blending his worldview with a truly compelling nonfiction film. But even there, Stone often went in for tit for tat — sure, the Soviet Union might have done this bad thing, but the US also did this bad thing.
It worked there as a way to try to jar Americans out of a post-Cold War complacency, a belief that we might have done some bad things in that period, but it was all justified in the name of beating back the Soviet menace. But it works less well in The Putin Interviews, which too neatly glosses over plenty of things that Putin is doing to his own people in the name of painting him as a reasonable critic of the US.
This is particularly egregious when the film turns to, say, Russia’s treatment of its LGBTQ citizens, or its frequent military incursions into former Soviet republics like Ukraine and Georgia.