Oliver Stone Attempts to Humanize Vladimir Putin in ‘The Putin Interviews’ on Showtime

     May 1, 2017


Oscar-winning writer/director Oliver Stone has found great success in interviewing controversial public figures–and compiling documentaries on them–over the years. Fidel Castro was the subject of interest in Comandante (2003), Looking for Fidel (2006), and Castro in Winter (2012); the 2003 documentary Persona Non Grata included interviews with Israeli Prime Ministers Ehud Barak and Benjamin Netanyahu, as well as Palestinian President Yasser Arafat; and there was the 2009 documentary South of the Border in which Latin American leftist, progressive governments and their leaders, like Venezuela’s Hugo Chávez and Bolivia’s Evo Morales, were profiled.

Now, Stone has added Russian president Vladimir Putin to his documentary filmography. In the four-hour Showtime documentary The Putin Interviews, airing over four nights this June, Stone will reveal his wide-ranging chats with Putin, which were cobbled together over the course of two years; the most recent interview took place after the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election and did not shy away from Russia’s role in that contest. That’s just one of the touchy subjects Stone attempted to get the notoriously tight-lipped Putin to comment on, though just how forthcoming the president was remains to be seen.

Check out the teaser trailer for The Putin Interviews below and read on for more:

Oliver Stone asks Vladimir Putin, “Why did Russia hack the election?” Don’t miss The Putin Interviews, a four-night event beginning June 12th at 9PM ET/PT.

Here are all the details you could want on The Putin Interviews, courtesy of Showtime:

Showtime Documentary Films will release THE PUTIN INTERVIEWS, a revealing series of interviews between renowned filmmaker Oliver Stone and Vladimir Putin, the Russian president who has reemerged as the central antagonist and wild card to the United States on the world stage. THE PUTIN INTERVIEWS will have its world television premiere on SHOWTIME over four consecutive nights starting on Monday, June 12 at 9 p.m. ET/PT.


Granted unprecedented access to both Putin’s professional and personal worlds, Oscar®-winning writer and director Oliver Stone (Platoon, Snowden), with the help of his longtime documentary producer Fernando Sulichin, interviewed the Russian leader more than a dozen times over the course of two years, most recently in February following the U.S. presidential elections. Since first becoming the president of Russia in 2000, Putin has never before spoken at such length or in such detail to a Western interviewer, leaving no topic off limits. In scope and depth, THE PUTIN INTERVIEWS recalls The Nixon Interviews, the series of conversations between David Frost and Richard Nixon that aired in the spring of 1977, 40 years ago.


“If Vladimir Putin is indeed the great enemy of the United States, then at least we should try to understand him,” Stone said.


During these wide-ranging interviews, Putin confronts the controversies engulfing the increasingly fragile relations between the U.S. and Russia today, including his views on President Donald Trump and allegations of Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, NATO, and fostering turmoil in Syria, Ukraine and elsewhere.


Prodded by Stone, Putin traverses a host of critical topics in sharp detail, including Putin’s rise to the Presidency, and long-term grip on power, his personal relationships with Clinton, Bush, Obama and Trump – as well as Yeltsin and Gorbachev. He also talks of the legacies of Stalin and Reagan, as well as the surveillance state and Edward Snowden’s flight to asylum in Moscow, and the resignation of U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz.


Providing intimate insight via sessions held throughout the Kremlin, Sochi and Putin’s official residence outside of Moscow, the four-hour film captures the essence and complexity of the Russian leader and his approach to the U.S. and the world, while incorporating dramatic footage of key events. The exchanges are often pointed, always thought-provoking and occasionally surreal – including a remarkable sequence where Stone introduces Putin for the first time to Stanley Kubrick’s Cold War satire Dr. Strangelove which they watched together  – all serving to illuminate the mindset of one of the least understood but most important players in the geopolitical world today.