Somewhat out of left field (pun intended)

Venezuelan prez Hugo Chavez and Bolivian prez Evo Morales appeared on stage at the Lincoln Center in Manhattan last night in support of Oliver Stone’s new documentary, South of the Border (2009), which screened at the Walter Reade Theater. Weird, I was in Manhattan just yesterday and yet neither of them gave me a call. Nevertheless, it’s pretty remarkable that these two men, who are widely perceived in the US as being a pair of Stalin-types (and if Chavez’s rhetoric is any indication, the feeling is mutual), came to NYC to watch and discuss a film.

South of the Border is a profile of Chavez and the ideology he embodies, Bolivarianism. Given Stone’s political leanings, it’s difficult to imagine that the film’s tone will be anything short of… positive. Maybe a lil’ gushy even. Morales, who, according to IMDB, has appeared in four documentaries now, is seemingly developing into a fairly screen-friendly head of state. (How could you not with a ’do like that?) Strange times we’re living in.

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