Oliver Stone: Vucic is a smart man; Biden is a belligerent grandfather

Oliver Stoun
Source: Politika

The three-time Oscar winner, the legendary and inimitable American director, Oliver Stone (76), took his role as the president of the jury at the international festival in Jeddah in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia very seriously. He says that he immersed himself with great care "into the very fascinating world of Asian, Middle Eastern and African movies and the changes they bring with them", Politika reports.

His latest feature-length documentary film Nuclear will also be screened at the festival, which caused controversy after its world premiere at this year's Venice Film Festival.

At the beginning of an exclusive interview for Politika in his "presidential residence" at the "Ritz Carlton" hotel, the famous director asked the journalist.

“You are from Serbia?”

“Yes”, I said.

"Your president is a very smart man. He knows", Stone replies.

We belong to the generation that learned in school how to behave and what to do in the event of a nuclear attack and radiation. Now, you prove with a film that nuclear energy can save us from global warming.

Let me tell you what my motivation was. I was suspicious like you, and like you I'm not that stupid, and I believed Jane Fonda, her fight against the Vietnam War and against nuclear energy. The 1970s was a time of supposedly great progress, and it is ironic that we made one of the key decisions, in my opinion, completely wrong. We did many good things in the seventies, as Dr. Morris says in the film, and he was one of the founders of "Greenpeace", but we misunderstood one important issue - the issue of humanity's interest in having clean energy. Out of concern, we have rejected the very idea of using nuclear energy for the benefit of the planet and are now discussing renewable energy sources, ways to reduce global warming, and harmful gases.

It is known that in your country they are strictly against nuclear power.

Americans do not care about the rest of the world, because they only care about their little backyard. We on our soil can sort things out for us personally, but the rest of the planet will be screaming in a few decades, there will be dislocation, there will be massive migration and who knows what the damage will be from climate change. You see the flood that happened recently in Pakistan and how it devastated Pakistan. We in the US do not consider the global picture, we only think of ourselves. And, as a result, we are fu...d. We have to think collectively. Now humanity must see the problem. This film of mine can help a little.

In addition, how to encourage Americans to think about this topic when you still haven't ensured the distribution of "Nuclear" there?

Exactly. Well, we may have to continue introducing the film from a country to a country, which makes sense. Now, the festival in Jeddah is an opportunity to sell the film for distribution in the Arab world and Middle Eastern people who care, and then through Europe the film will return to the US.

The very mention of nuclear energy causes fear of its (mis)use in the form of atomic bombs, and that fear is currently at its peak again, and we all still remember the Chernobyl case.

Yes, talking to people like you, and I read every article after the world premiere of the film, it is clear that all the press is against it. The first thing they say either in the title or in the subtitle is that nuclear energy is dangerous and risky, and they do not say that it is no more risky than using oil. That is our point. The example of Chernobyl is legitimate, because the plant was built incorrectly and they did not have adequate containers, not even suits, and they did not manage well. We showed all that in detail in the film. The thought of radiation goes on our nerves, and we have been living with that level of radiation since the beginning of the planet. Well, just think about how much radiation you are exposed to while constantly flying. And no one wants to tell you outright that arsenic is much more dangerous than all industrial pollutants. Oil companies will say that they are partners with renewable energy sources, but they do not say that these sources will also depend on them, on their oil and gas, and that methane in the atmosphere is the most toxic of all. We are, in fact, uninformed.

And are we responsible enough to peacefully use and build nuclear power plants for the common good?

As a civilization, we must have the existence of a certain degree of risk and degree of taking responsibility, but also knowledge. I think we have it all. In the US, because of all the regulations, and the oil people and environmentalists like to follow the regulations, they often say "we can't beat nuclear, but we will slow it down". And so they use money to slow down. Nobody will build nuclear power plants, except China and Russia. Russia got involved in this mess with the United States, but the Russians did a good job on the reactors. We humans have the technology, the question is - willpower and politics.
Everything is politics, so maybe your arrival here.

You said on stage that many harsh words were spoken about KSA and that people should come and see for themselves?

The United States is an expert at condemning any country in the world when it crosses the line of the international order, what they call the rules, and America breaks all the rules when it wants to and you know it. They ask me about the Khashoggi case and it was cruel, but I think that one of the worst cases is the Assange case. Everyone said that Assange should be released, and the US persisted in its revenge. So who are we to point fingers at anyone? We tell the Russians what to do. I mean, it's funny considering what we did. I don't want to go into the wider story of what is happening in Ukraine, because the case is not at all simple, and everyone just shouts: "The Russians are attacking". And who caused it? What has been happening there in Donbass since 2014? How many people have moved out of there because the United States was heavily arming the Ukrainian army? Since 2014, Ukraine was no longer neutral, it was against the Russians. That is what upset the balance of military equipment, and that is where the war comes from. Like everything, every war has a cause and effect, but we don’t even pay attention to that yet.

Still a big rebel?

“Oh yes. I've always been a rebel, maybe for too long.”

And you always managed to avoid possible problems?

Yes, but now my biggest problem is aging. I can hear very little, my hearing has completely weakened. I cannot even see well, and I don't have that much energy anymore. That is the problem.

But you still don't stop filmmaking and fighting for your films?

I am fighting for the next film. I'd rather live on my feet than die on my knees.

Do you still have hope for the Biden administration?

Man, they are sinking fast. I was wrong to vote for that man. I really thought he was getting older and would be more mature and less belligerent, because his resume is terribly belligerent. He was always on the side of the state. He always supported military wars in which the American was in everything to the end. Obama made a huge mistake in choosing him, he was so afraid of offending the establishment that he had to choose the best of the establishment. The oldest grandfather and the grandfather turned out to be very dangerous and now shouts: "Let's kill the Russians, now is our chance." He confuses Russia with Putin and thinks that if he gets rid of Putin, he will control Russia like in Yeltsin's time. And that's just a dream.

Do you have an idea who you would vote for?

I would vote for a third party. There is no hope for America, except for the emergence of a third party, because both Republicans and Democrats work and function the same and invest the same money in the military industry. The US military budget is huge. The establishment is interconnected, and there is a lot of discontent in the world today.