Celeb: Oscar-winning director Oliver Stone whose ten-part Showtime docu-series, “The Untold History of the United States,” is now available on DVD. From “JFK” to “W.” Stone is no stranger to high historical drama and political intrigue on the big screen.
Cause: On Saturday, Stone along with the co-author of “The Untold History” companion book, American University history professor Peter Kuznick, headlined the libertarian International Students for Liberty conference with their panel, “Imperial Overreach and the National Security State.”
Scene: Holding court from a booth at the sports bar of the Grand Hyatt, Stone bit into a hamburger while simultaneously schooling a French journalist on American history as he knew it. Dressed in a blue striped shirt with the top two buttons casually undone, in between mouthfuls he delivered a few of his own on Stalin, John Wayne propaganda films and why “Barack: The Movie” would flop. “Obama is a jellyfish,” said Stone. “He’d do very well to watch our series. Those 12 hours will be well spent.”
The hotel was crawling with name tag-clad teenaged Libertarians, a crowd Stone and Kuznick hadn’t addressed before, but with whom both said they shared some political values. Even still the director had little faith in what young people are taught about American history in school, calling it “the Disney version.” But there might be hope in an unlikely hero. “Perhaps we are the last empire,” he said, “but on a hopeful note you could pray for a Gorbachev.”
Soundbite: When asked what he wished his legacy would be, Stone said, “That I was a truth-seeker and that I cared. I love my country. This movie was about my mourning for America.”