Controversial filmmaker Oliver Stone has a new mission: in his upcoming Showtime series “Secret History” he wants to put 20th century German dictator and Nazi mass murderer Adolf Hitler “in context.”
Director Oliver Stone’s upcoming Showtime documentary miniseries “Secret History of America” promises to put mass murderers such as Stalin and Hitler “in context.”
“Stalin, Hitler, Mao, McCarthy — these people have been vilified pretty thoroughly by history,” Stone told reporters at the Television Critics Association’s semi-annual press tour in Pasadena.
“Stalin has a complete other story,” Stone said. “Not to paint him as a hero, but to tell a more factual representation. He fought the German war machine more than any single person. We can’t judge people as only ‘bad’ or ‘good.’ Hitler is an easy scapegoat throughout history and its been used cheaply. He’s the product of a series of actions. It’s cause and effect … People in America don’t know the connection between WWI and WWII … I’ve been able to walk in Stalin’s shoes and Hitler’s shoes to understand their point of view. We’re going to educate our minds and liberalize them and broaden them. We want to move beyond opinions … Go into the funding of the Nazi party. How many American corporations were involved, from GM through IBM. Hitler is just a man who could have easily been assassinated.”
He plans to walk in Hitler’s boots in a segment in a 10-part Showtime series that he says will zero in on events that “at the time went under-reported, but crucially shaped America’s unique and complex history of the last 60 years.” This will include a slew of vital 20th century events such as Harry Truman’s decision to drop the A bomb on Hiroshima. Stone argues that you can’t really approach history “you cannot approach history unless you have empathy for the person you may hate.”
So THAT has been the problem all of these years.
In fairness to Stone, some of his films have not quite been as good/bad (pick the one that fits your political bias) as the advance billing suggested. It’s worth withholding judgment until the series airs, although that won’t stop him from being denounced ahead of time by those who hate him for political or artistic reasons.
Let’s just hope that in the end people don’t decide that this would be a fitting theme song for his take on Hitler:
Joe Gandelman is a former fulltime journalist who freelanced in India, Spain, Bangladesh and Cypress writing for publications such as the Christian Science Monitor and Newsweek. He also did radio reports from Madrid for NPR’s All Things Considered. He has worked on two U.S. newspapers and quit the news biz in 1990 to go into entertainment. He also has written for The Week and several online publications, did a column for Cagle Cartoons Syndicate and has appeared on CNN.