Oliver Stone denied Iranian President documentary
Oliver Stone won't be making a film about the Iranian President as he had hoped because he is viewed as "part of the Great Satan" according to some of the Iranian press.
A few weeks ago Oliver Stone apparently requested permission to make a film about Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, and although some Iranian Filmmakers were excited at the proposal and were keen for the President to accept, it seems that officials did not share the enthusiasm.
According to the LA Times Iranian filmmakers were actually lobbying the President to accept, presumably as this might ease some tensions between the two countries and allow Iran to be presented in a more sympathetic light to the West.
However it looks like it won't happen as the story says an official has said that despite Stone's anti-establishment ways, he's still an American. One of the Iranian news sites carried a comment from an Iranian media advisor, Mehdi Kalhor, who says:
"It is true that [Stone] is known as a dissident in the U.S., but he is still part of the Great Satan...We believe that U.S. cinema is devoid of culture and that their art is only a stratagem."
He went on to say that the President would not let an American filmmaker into his confidence, however an unnamed advisor told the site that they would allow him to make a documentary if an Iranian filmmaker was allowed to make one of President George Bush.
MSNBC have a similar quote from the advisor:
"I sent a negative answer by Ahmadinejad to Oliver Stone...It is right that this person is considered part of the opposition in the U.S., but opposition in the U.S. is a part of the Great Satan."
They also have a return quote from Stone himself, who has yet to receive an official denial on the request.
"I have been called a lot of things, but never a great satan...I wish the Iranian people well, and only hope their experience with an inept, rigid ideologue president goes better than ours."
That is quite a hard hitting comment back, and perhaps a very apt one too. However the idea of swapping over Directors for two separate documentaries sounds fair enough doesn't it? It might make for interesting comparison, however there would have to be assurances from both sides that each Director retains the same freedoms that the other would.