Filmmaker Oliver Stone will be in Baltimore Thursday, screening his new documentary and fielding questions about it.
"Oliver Stone’s Untold History of the United States," a series that re-examines American foreign policy, is now airing on Showtime. Stone was lured to Baltimore because the documentary's key researcher is University of Baltimore historian Eric Singer.
The 10-part documentary that delves into everything from the Cold War to the fall of Communism, to Vietnam and terrorism, is getting a lot of buzz in history circles -- even actor John Cusack, who saw it the other day, called it "really excellent," tweeting: "Stone's new doc series is measured powerful and serious - if not the untold at least the largely ignored history of crucial periods."
Singer has been doing research for Stone's project almost exclusively for the last five years, "in the trenches," as he puts it. He says the end result is a "very rich historical record," that challenges assumptions and shines a light on lesser-known aspects of some of history's greatest dramas.
"We look at 'what might have been'," Singer says.
Singer got involved in the project through his former professor, American University historian Peter Kuznick, who is Stone's partner in the project that includes the documentary and a companion book. The idea was born after September 11 but really got rolling in 2007 when Showtime committed to it.
After years of working for Stone, Singer calls him brilliant and misunderstood. He believes "Untold History," will help the filmmaker erase his reputation as a conspiracy theorist, which took root after he released "JFK."
"The conspiracy theorist aura is completely fallacious," Singer says. "What he is is a historian and his trying to uncover the truth."
After 300 people in six hours claimed seats to see Stone, University of Baltimore officials decided to move the screening to the Charles Theatre.
The event begins at 1 p.m. at the Charles Theatre. They'll show an episode that looks at the decision to drop the atomic bomb. A panel discussion and question and answer session will follow. To get in, people must RSVP.
The panel will include Stone, his partner on the project, American University historian Peter Kuznick, U.S. State Department historian Adam Howard, and John Prados, a senior research fellow at the National Security Archive. Singer will moderate.
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