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Thread: Oliver Stone's "Untold History of the United States" -- Reviews and Discussion

  1. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by Magda Hassan View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Jan Klimkowski View Post
    Ultimately Stone is attempting to convey hugely complex ideas and to reveal new historical narratives to a mass audience. Stone makes the viewer work very hard. These are not easy, familar, watches. These documentaries are laying out the evidence for an "untold history", which spans the globe.

    The series is far from perfect, But at its best, it is pretty damn good.
    He sounds like he is making a better go of it than Jesse Ventura.....
    Jesse is massively dumbed down television.

    Stone makes the viewer think, concentrate, ponder, reflect.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jan Klimkowski View Post

    A brief section on the horrors of the Vietnam War, and then back again to the Dallas motorcade.

    The words of the narrator have to be considered against the images flickering on the screen.

    The imagery says:

    From American Innocence to American Grotesque.

    From Cheerleaders to Sinister Forces.


    Stone's narrator concludes: "In hindsight, it was on that afternoon in Dallas when John Kennedy's head was blown off in broad daylight, it was if a giant horrific Greek Medusa had unearthed its hideous face to the American people, freezing us with an oracle of things yet to come."
    This documentary sequence is not about the words alone, or the imagery alone, or the music alone, or the juxtapositions.

    It is about the totality of the experience created by the documentary.
    "It means this War was never political at all, the politics was all theatre, all just to keep the people distracted...."
    "Proverbs for Paranoids 4: You hide, They seek."
    "They are in Love. Fuck the War."

    Gravity's Rainbow, Thomas Pynchon

    "Ccollanan Pachacamac ricuy auccacunac yahuarniy hichascancuta."
    The last words of the last Inka, Tupac Amaru, led to the gallows by men of god & dogs of war

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    I'm enjoying Stone's approach, challenging the conventional histories.

    His narration style invites the full attention of the viewer.

    We just saw the Kennedy/Krushchev episode here in Australia

    I'll be interested to see the Johnson episode - our Prime Minister hitched us to the wagon of his Vietnam policy

  3. #13

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    In the book, the JFK assassination is dealt with in less than one page, basically saying that unknown powerful forces were probably at work. There is no discussion of the assassinations of RFK, MLK and Malcolm X. The book primarily focuses on foreign policy, and as I said before, it does a pretty good job of covering the last 115 years.

  4. #14

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    Is this series being shown in the US?

    I've just watched the final episode and it is a complete and utter demolition of Official History.

    Oliver Stone deconstructs and destroys the War on Terror, with its lies and psyop propaganda.

    He lacerates the "banksters" and their impoverishment of ordinary working families.

    He decries Obama for empowering Rubin's bastard Nazgul to run America by Wall Street and Shock Therapy's rules.

    Stone uses highly charged clips to demonstrate that the mass media is nothing more than a propaganda chorus doing Homeland Security's bidding.

    Then, through clip after clip, he accuses Obama of betraying promise after promise.

    Finally, when the military tell Obama that he cannot refuse their wishes for more troops and escalation in yet another meaningless and unjustified war, because the Chain of Command would be irreparably broken, Stone states that Obama did not show the courage of JFK and folded abjectly.

    Stone is clear that this was a betrayal.

    A President must be prepared to risk his own death.

    This is potent, resonant, weaponised history.

    The series ends with imagery of mushroom clouds, of bombs dropping from on high, of American soldiers invading yet another country,

    Narrator Oliver Stone intones:

    "In looking back at the American century, have we acted wisely and humanely in our relations with the rest of the world?"

    Imagery of dollar printing presses, and soup kitchens:

    "A world in which a few hundred or thousand or couple of thousand have more wealth than the poorest three billion?"

    Over WW2 and Cold War imagery:

    "Have we been right to police the globe? Have we been a force for good? For understanding? For peace?"

    Over footage of land being blasted and bombed, of war time liberation, of the atomic bomb and leaflets proselytising for "Survival in the Atomic Age":

    "We must look in the mirror. Have we perhaps in our self love become angels of our own despair? Claims of victory in the second world war and justifications for the atomic bombs dropped on Japan.

    "The founding myths of domination, the national security state and the nation's elites have benefitted from that."


    Over imagery of Hiroshima, America's founding fathers, the Statue of Liberty:

    "The Bomb has allowed us to win by any means necessary. Which makes us, because we win, Right. And because we are Right, Good."

    Footage of Albright, Bush, Obama:

    "Under these conditions, there is no morality but our own. Madeline Albright said that if we have to use force it is because we are America. We are the indispensable nation. Because we can and have threatened humanity with the Bomb, our mistakes are forgiven, and our cruelties justified as benignly motivated aberrations."

    Over imagery of Hitler's legions and the British empire:

    "But domination does not last. Five major empires have collapsed in the lifetime of a person born before WW2.

    "If history is a barometer, then United States' domination will end as well."


    Imagery of American independence, James Stewart, the Statue of Liberty:

    "We wisely resisted becoming a colonial empire, and most Americans would deny all imperial pretentions. Perhaps that is why we cling so doggedly to the myth of American Exceptionalism. American uniqueness, benevolence, genorosity.

    "Maybe in that fanciful notion lie the seeds of American redemption."


    Every European, every non-American, understands Stone's history.

    Do Americans understand it?

    Stone's series is not perfect, but it is the most potent and truthful documentary history that I've seen since Adam Curtis' Pandora's Box series in 1992, and more far-reaching and epic in scope than that.

    For now, the enemy has won, because Oliver Stone's Untold History has broadcast to near complete silence.

    His Untold History remains Suppressed.
    "It means this War was never political at all, the politics was all theatre, all just to keep the people distracted...."
    "Proverbs for Paranoids 4: You hide, They seek."
    "They are in Love. Fuck the War."

    Gravity's Rainbow, Thomas Pynchon

    "Ccollanan Pachacamac ricuy auccacunac yahuarniy hichascancuta."
    The last words of the last Inka, Tupac Amaru, led to the gallows by men of god & dogs of war

  5. #15

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    I see that you can get abbreviated versions on line at http://www.sho.com/sho/oliver-stones...ed-states/home. Don't know if you can see the whole thing on line if you subscribe.

    Does anyone know if Stone plans to release this as a DVD? I would prefer to see it than read the book, as Stone is a filmmaker first and foremost.

  6. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by Albert Rossi View Post
    I would prefer to see it than read the book, as Stone is a filmmaker first and foremost.
    Indeed, and it is the combination and juxtaposition of imagery, word, music and ideas that makes the documentary series so potent.
    "It means this War was never political at all, the politics was all theatre, all just to keep the people distracted...."
    "Proverbs for Paranoids 4: You hide, They seek."
    "They are in Love. Fuck the War."

    Gravity's Rainbow, Thomas Pynchon

    "Ccollanan Pachacamac ricuy auccacunac yahuarniy hichascancuta."
    The last words of the last Inka, Tupac Amaru, led to the gallows by men of god & dogs of war

  7. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by Albert Rossi View Post
    I see that you can get abbreviated versions on line at http://www.sho.com/sho/oliver-stones...ed-states/home. Don't know if you can see the whole thing on line if you subscribe.

    Does anyone know if Stone plans to release this as a DVD? I would prefer to see it than read the book, as Stone is a filmmaker first and foremost.
    Definitely. It is his medium and the one he works best in. Howard Zinn is good for written history.I see some one put the series on Pirate Bay if you are so inclined.
    "I think it would be a good idea." Mahatma Gandhi, when asked what he thought of Western civilization.

    The philosophers have only interpreted the world, in various ways; the point is to change it.
    Karl Marx.

    "Well, he would, wouldn't he?" Mandy Rice-Davies, 1963, replied Ms Rice Davies when the prosecuting counsel pointed out that Lord Astor denied an affair or having even met her.

  8. Default OK I was convinced by the thread

    I "subscribed" to showtime for this series after watching a couple of episodes of Stone's series on line.
    I already have the book as well as 'the book of the film JFK'.
    Zack Sklar not to be overlooked.

    IMO: film makers like Stone don't come around often enough.
    Scorsese too. and others to be sure. Billy Wilder and Frank Capra too and more still ........
    Mr. Stone's views? Not so important to me. My views come from more than one place.

    I like all Stone's films and "Platoon" I had to walk out on when I first saw it in a theater in first run here.
    Too close to home. Not a comment on the film.
    Not time for that then.
    I made up for this by buying the DvD later.

    The kicker for showtime was when I found I could get "Hearts and Minds" (1974?) too!
    If I got the service before the 25th. So I did.

    I'm glad to replace the old faded VCR copy of this doc. Widescreen to boot.

    It can be amazing what comes of community, eh?

    FWIW, my own research of the Freikorps is slowing in summer for two reasons.
    First, R/C Sailplane activities and the Nationals in Muncie beginning in a few days.
    No I don't fly in the competition but I fly in the free time after the events,
    also it is great to get together with Sailplane pilots from all over the world.
    Glider Camp is fun....:plane:

    Second, I was turned on to "Thy Will Be Done" and it has entranced me.
    Dovetailing quite nicely with Prouty and Evica.
    Read not to contradict and confute;
    nor to believe and take for granted;
    nor to find talk and discourse;
    but to weigh and consider.
    FRANCIS BACON

  9. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Hackett II View Post
    Second, I was turned on to "Thy Will Be Done" and it has entranced me.
    Dovetailing quite nicely with Prouty and Evica.
    Excellent book. More people should know about it.
    "I think it would be a good idea." Mahatma Gandhi, when asked what he thought of Western civilization.

    The philosophers have only interpreted the world, in various ways; the point is to change it.
    Karl Marx.

    "Well, he would, wouldn't he?" Mandy Rice-Davies, 1963, replied Ms Rice Davies when the prosecuting counsel pointed out that Lord Astor denied an affair or having even met her.

  10. #20

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    In the penultimate episode, in a sequence clearly, perhaps deliberately, reminiscent of the classic Laurence Olivier-narrated documentary series, The World At War, Stone names Prescott Bush and Brown Brothers Harriman as having continued to trade with the Nazis during WW2.

    Then, he proceeds to name the following scions of American capitalism as also having traded with the Nazis up until 1941:

    Ford
    GM
    Standard Oil
    Alcoa
    ITT
    General Electric
    Du Pont
    Kodak
    Westinghouse
    Pratt & Whitne
    Douglas
    United Fruit
    Singer
    International Harvester

    He also exposes the behaviour of IBM, Ford and GM in obtaining compensation for their German enterprises, and in the case of Ford & GM, successfully suing for damage to their factories in Nazi Germany caused by allied bombing.

    He names the Dulles brothers at Sullivan and Cromwell, the Bank of International Settlements in Switzerland, and Chase Bank, JP Morgan and Union Bank as all cooperating extensively with the Nazis, or "successfully obfuscating" such cooperation.

    All this is of course familiar to members of DPF.

    However, never before have I seen this suppressed history told in a major network TV series.

    I raise a jar to Oliver Stone.



    PS as per my question above, is this series really being shown in America?

    Have the likes of Faux News and the NYT been allowed to marginalise and ignore Stone's Untold History?
    "It means this War was never political at all, the politics was all theatre, all just to keep the people distracted...."
    "Proverbs for Paranoids 4: You hide, They seek."
    "They are in Love. Fuck the War."

    Gravity's Rainbow, Thomas Pynchon

    "Ccollanan Pachacamac ricuy auccacunac yahuarniy hichascancuta."
    The last words of the last Inka, Tupac Amaru, led to the gallows by men of god & dogs of war

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