Stone Film “South of the Border” w/ LI writer Bart Jones 9/2/10

Hugo Chávez

Hugo Chávez

Film, Discussion, Book Signing, Reception

Real-to-Reel: Documentary Film Series Sponsored by Stuart & Ginger Polisner @ Huntington’s Cinema Arts Centre

Thursday, September 2 at 7:30pm


Guest Speaker: LI Author & Journalist BART JONES, Hugo! The Hugo Chavez Story: From Mud Hut to Perpetual Freedom

“…Feisty, entertaining…” – Time Out London

“Good-humored, illuminating and without cant.” – Ray Bennett, The Hollywood Reporter

What starts as a road trip through a misunderstood region of South America , becomes an in-depth look by controversial filmmaker Oliver Stone at the impact of American foreign policy and the real people behind the sensational headlines. Journalist & author Bart Jones will discuss the film and sign his book at the reception following the screening of SOUTH OF THE BORDER on Thursday, September 2 at 7:30pm as part of  Cinema Arts Centre’s Real-to-Reel: Documentary Film Series. Copies of Hugo! The Hugo Chavez Story: From Mud Hut to Perpetual Freedom will available for sale.

$9 Members / $13 Public / Includes reception. Tickets can be purchased online, at the box office during theatre hours or by calling Brown Paper Tickets toll free at 1-800-838-3006. CAC 423 Park Ave Huntington 631-423-7611


Bart Jones covers immigration issues for Newsday. From 1992 to 2000 he worked in Venezuela , mainly as a foreign correspondent for the Associated Press. He covered the rise to power of Hugo Chavez and the first year of his administration. A graduate of Fordham University , he holds a master’s degree in Social Studies from Columbia University .  He lives with his family on Long Island . Hugo! is his first book.


Oliver Stone sets out on a road trip across five countries to explore the social and political movements as well as the mainstream media’s misperception of South America while interviewing seven of its elected presidents. In casual conversations with Presidents Hugo Chávez (Venezuela), Evo Morales (Bolivia), Lula da Silva (Brazil), Cristina Kirchner (Argentina), as well as her husband and ex-President Nestor Kirchner, Fernando Lugo (Paraguay), Rafael Correa (Ecuador), and Raúl Castro (Cuba), Stone gains unprecedented access and sheds new light upon the exciting transformations in the region. For more than three decades, Oliver Stone has challenged audiences to rethink historic events. Now after tackling war, Wall Street and the Kennedy assassination, among many other subjects, the three-time Academy-Award winning director has set his sights on the continent of South America and the role the mass media has played in shaping U.S. perceptions and policy. What starts as a road trip through a misunderstood region, becomes an in-depth look at the impact of American foreign policy and the real people and presidents behind the sensational headlines. Through Stone’s up-close-and-personal interviews an alternate history of the South American continent begins to appear; a history of violence and conflict but also a story of powerful elected leaders struggling to help their countries emerge from under the heel of U.S. power.

USA , 2010, 78 min. • Director: Oliver Stone

Click HERE for Official Website.

About Bart Jones’ Hugo! The Hugo Chavez Story: From Mud Hut to Perpetual Freedom

Bart Jones knows Venezuela intimately and was an eyewitness to President Hugo Chávez’s rise to power. In Hugo! he tells the story of Chávez’s impoverished childhood, his military career and the decade of clandestine political activity that ended in a failed attempt to seize power in 1992. He describes the election campaign against a former Miss Universe that finally won Chávez the Presidency and the dramatic reversals of fortune that have marked it: the struggle to reform the Venezuelan economy, the coup attempt of 2002 in which he was kidnapped and faced summary execution, and the oil industry strike that followed. The full stories of many of these episodes have never been told before – in English or Spanish. Hugo! is scrupulously researched and sourced, and as compelling to read as a good novel. The ruling elites and popular media in Venezuela and the United States oversimplify by casting Chávez as the heir to Fidel Castro, and more often than not, they have their facts wrong. The truth is more complex, and more interesting. The leader of one of the most powerful economies in Latin America is determined to try to use his country’s wealth to help the poor majority. The Chávez that emerges from Jones’ account is neither a plaster saint nor a revolutionary tyrant. He is a master politician — democratically elected to the presidency three times — an inspired improviser, a Bolivarian nationalist and an unashamed socialist. His policies have brought him into conflict with the IMF and the World Bank, the major oil companies and the Bush White House. By the time he arrived at the United Nations in September 2006 he had become a figure on the world stage. When he declared that ‘the devil came here yesterday … the President of the United States’, it was clear that, right or wrong, one man was taking on the might of most powerful nation on earth, in conscious imitation of the Liberator, Simon Bolivar.

Book Reviews

Hugo! “is a book fully willing to do what American journalists mostly have avoided, which is to take Chavez seriously as a product both of local problems and of Latin American revolutionary traditions. . . . It is also the most comprehensive of the available books on Chavez.” – Newsday

stands as the most authoritative and best-researched among the new crop of studies…. The compelling story of Chavez’s rise … is scrupulously gathered and expertly assembled by Jones. He offers insight into the passion for justice…Jones also excels in providing sufficient historical context to understand Chavez’s ideological formation.” — Marc Cooper for

“To understand Venezuela today you have to understand Venezuela B.C. – Before Chavez. . . . It is that rancid economic and political landscape that forms the backdrop of Chavez’s rise. And it is masterly charted . . . in Bart Jones’ comprehensive new biography.
“Hugo-biographers too often resort to either stultifying hagiography or gratuitous demonization . . . Hugo! mark(s) an even-handed departure from that routine. . . . (Jones) displays an expert appreciation of the local milieu that formed Hugo’s personality . . . One merit of Hugo! is that it cuts through the hysteria of the Chavez ‘threat’ to offer a . . . level-headed assessment. . . . Jones’ well researched look at Chavez’s vast social programs suggests a politician more motivated by common sense than communism.” — Tim Padgett at

“Jones describes the story as ‘straight out of Hollywood .’ Indeed, I lost sleep two nights running because I just couldn’t put the book down. I also was so engrossed in the two chapters about the 2002 coup that I got on the Washington , DC metro heading in the wrong direction and was in the suburbs before I became conscious of my surroundings. Despite the novel-like action pace of the book, it is meticulously researched with 55 pages of references and an extensive index. . . . Bart Jones is an ethical reporter who may come off as pro-Chavez because he is imposing objectivity in an area where the reporting has been so biased as to distort reality to the breaking point. Jones believes that both the opposition and the supporters of the Bolivarian “process,” as supporters have come to call it, have legitimate points that deserve to be discussed. One of his goals was to make that possible by writing a book which upholds the best standards of unbiased reporting. In the process he writes a ‘page-turner’ that will captivate and educate the reader. This book belongs on the New York Times bestseller list and in the hands of every intellectually curious US adult who questions the right of the United States to rule the world.” — Chuck Kaufman

“Chávez’s rise has a made-for-Hollywood quality. . . . Jones provides a superb description of the economic inequities that helped create the conditions for a populist such as Chávez to come to power. . . . As Hugo! points out, mainstream press coverage is often hostile to the Venezuelan president. . . . Where Jones truly excels is in his observations of Venezuelan society and the outsized role oil has played in molding the national character.” — Washington Post (cover review)

“Jones’s book is thoughtful, comprehensive . . . the best in the bunch.”— The Boston Globe

“Without taking a political stance, Jones provides a nuanced account of the Venezuelan leader’s life, creating a portrait that is, if not sympathetic, certainly more balanced than previous ones. Jones’s precise and entertaining account moves smoothly through Chávez’s beginnings up to his current position, making Venezuelan history accessible.”— Publishers Weekly

“This first major English language biography of Hugo Chavez is a masterful achievement that finally puts this crucial Latin American figure of the early 21st Century into context within Venezuela, within Latin America, as well as internationally. Bart Jones has gotten hold of great detail and anecdote, and portrays a colorful leader in times of crisis, rising from low military rank to the zenith of national power, as Venezuela and its people — and Chavez himself — begin to take charge of the country’s terrific oil reserves and to flex national muscle on the world stage. An important work for our era —Chavez will in all likelihood cast a long and significant political shadow in the Western Hemisphere for the foreseeable future, and we need to understand this complicated figure as events unfold.” — Amy Wilentz

Since 1973, presenting the best U.S., International, Independent & Repertory films on 3 screens 365 days of the year, in a comfortable ambience including the sculpture garden & The Sky Room Café, the Cinema Arts Centre is located at 423 Park Ave (just south of 25a), Huntington, NY 11743 (25 miles east of New York City). Admission for regular programs: $10.00. Discounts for members, seniors, students & children. CAC is a not-for-profit 501(c)3 organization. For further information call 631-423-7611. To sign up for weekly email schedule: Membership and Schedule:

The mission of the Cinema Arts Centre is to bring the best in cinematic artistry to Long Island , and use the power of film to expand the awareness and consciousness of our community.

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