Spartacus Speaks

By Zachary Block '99 / January / February 2002
July 1st, 2007

"Don't believe most of the stuff you see in the movies," Oliver Stone told a Brown audience on December 1. Hollywood, said the director of Platoon and JFK, is controlled by "chickens" and "concentration camp guards." History books are no better, Stone warned, in a speech that was part of the Ivy Film Festival. "Most historians are ass-kissers and tenure seekers," he said.

What to believe then? "Believe my stuff," a paunchy and puffy-eyed Stone said.

Drawing comparisons to Vietnam, Stone accused the U.S. government of withholding the truth about the war in Afghanistan: "Bin Laden was completely protected by the oil companies in this country who told [President] Bush not to go after him because it would piss off the Saudis." Then, Stone claimed, there's the cover-up involving ground zero: limbs getting cut off bodies for jewelry, a man walking off with $132 million.

"I know some of you will become golf club members and family people and you will become good members of society because you don't want to rock the boat," said Stone, who had been invited to campus by the student-run Brown Lecture Board. "But I hope you go out there and kick their ass like Spartacus, because you aren't slaves. We don't have to say yes all the time, we don't have to accept it."

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January / February 2002