Untold History of the United States
Untold History of United States – Bush & Obama: Age of Terror
Homeland Security, in Iraq, Afghanistan, and a worldwide global Security State. The cannibalization of the U.S. economy continues. Obama and the destiny of the American Empire. Directed and narrated by Oliver Stone.
Oliver Stone’s Untold History of the United States, also known as The Untold History of the United States, is a 2012 documentary series directed, produced, and narrated by Oliver Stone.
Production and Release
Oliver Stone and American University historian Peter J. Kuznick, began working on the project in 2008. Stone, Kuznick and British screenwriter Matt Graham co-wrote the script. The documentary miniseries for Showtime had a working title Oliver Stone’s Secret History of America. It covers “the reasons behind the Cold War with the Soviet Union, U.S. President Harry Truman‘s decision to drop the atomic bomb on Japan, and changes in America’s global role since the fall of Communism.” Stone is the director and narrator of all ten episodes. The series is a re-examination of some of the under-reported and darkest parts of American modern history using little known documents and newly uncovered archival material. The series looks beyond official versions of events to the deeper causes and implications and explores how events from the past still have resonant themes for the present day. Stone said: “From the outset I’ve looked at this project as a legacy to my children, and a way to understand the times I’ve lived through. I hope it can contribute to a more global insight into our American history.”
The first three episodes of the series premiered at the New York Film Festivalon October 6, 2012, which Indiewire described as “extremely compelling” and “daring.” The series was personally presented by Stone at the Subversive Festival on May 4, 2013, in Zagreb, Croatia, which next to film screenings also included debates and public lectures by prominent intellectuals such as Slavoj Žižek and Tariq Ali.
Stone described the project as “the most ambitious thing I’ve ever done. Certainly in documentary form, and perhaps in fiction, feature form.” Production took four years to complete. Stone confessed “It was supposed to take two years but it’s way over schedule.” The premiere was finally set for November 12, 2012. Stone spent $1 million of his own money on the budget, which had inflated from $3 million to $5 million.
On October 15, 2013, Oliver Stone announced that Untold History of the United States would be released on Blu-ray. All 10 episodes of the show would be featured on 4 discs, and the Blu-ray release would also include various bonus content, as well as 2 prologue episodes. The first prologue episode would deal with World War I, the Russian Revolution and Woodrow Wilson. The second prologue episode would highlight the pre-World War II era of Franklin D. Roosevelt, Adolf Hitler and Joseph Stalin. On March 4, 2014, Stone announced via his own website that the series was officially available on DVD.
Kuznick objected to the working title “Secret History”, claiming that “the truth is that many of our ‘secrets’ have been hidden on the front page of the New York Times. If people think the secrets will be deep, dark conspiracies, they’ll be disappointed. We’ll be drawing on the best recent scholarship.” It was subsequently retitled The Untold History of the United States.
Style and Format
The series has been said to be reminiscent of the famed British Thames Television series The World at War (1973–74). With the exception of an on-camera introduction and conclusion by Oliver Stone, the series contains no interview subjects. Instead, each episode consists of archival material: stock film, photographs, video and audio recordings, computer generated maps and diagrams, clips from fictional movies, and Stone’s voiceover narration. Historical quotations and writings from various figures are read by actors.