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Meeting Oliver Stone

I was seven years old when Platoon arrived in movie theaters in Japan. At the time, I could not understand English dialogs and not even able to read Japanese subtitles. Instead, I witnessed the mad eyes of soldiers, screaming girls, killed families, burning villages—those raw pieces of Vietnam War.

More than 20 years later, I was in front of Mr. Oliver Stone at the media conference for Savages, the opening movie for the 8th Zurich Film Festival.

War on Money

In Savages, Mr. Stone challenges his audience with visual and audio brutality of the current American War on Drugs, which he captures as a "war on money". Detesting the war in Iraq that brought “beheading” into drug cartels’ practices, Mr. Stone intentionally avoided recreating headless victims of drug cartels hung over highways.

“I tried minimizing clichés while establishing reality on fiction”, said Mr. Stone. For instance, he trained Benicio del Toro to use two leather whips simultaneously for a torturing scene.

Voting for Obama

In his calm and firm voice with soft smiles to the relentless media representatives, I felt Mr. Stone’s unhealed trauma and lingering anger from Vietnam War. President Nixon is still alive in him, along with Bush and Cheney. Mr. Stone argued that Vietnam was forgotten, politics had misused 9/11, and Guantanamo Bay is wrong. "I’ve lived through the worst", said Mr. Stone with a cynical and lonely smile.

After the press conference, I ran into Mr. Stone in the foyer of Baur au Lac in Zürich. "Did you understand me?", he immediately asked me. I instantly replied: "Every word of it!" With a big smile, Mr. Stone saluted me and mischievously pulled both of my ears!

Zurich Film Festival - Meeting Oliver Stone

Oliver Stone's next production, "The Untold History of the United States", will be released as a mini-series on Showtime on November 12, 2012. Someday in the future, I wish that Mr. Stone would take his megaphone and aim it at tax havens, including Switzerland...

Listen to the press conference below (Oliver Stone at 10:00):


Mamiko truly loves to discover Switzerland through the Newly Swissed "frame" with her Japanese eyes for details and a spark of American curiosity. She wants to connect Newly Swissed with businesses and organizations in Switzerland and expand the network.

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