Film director Oliver Stone interviews Vladimir Putin for a four-hour documentary series to air on Showtime

Ruth Sherlock
Russian President Vladimir Putin being interviewed by Mir Television and Radio Broadcasting Company in Moscow, Russia, 11 April 2017 - SPUTNIK POOL

Oliver Stone, the American film director has held a series of rare interviews with Russian president, Vladimir Putin, to be aired in installments in June.

"The Putin Interviews" will be broadcast as a documentary series in four parts by Showtime, the US network beginning on June 12. 

The cable network is promoting the programmes by comparing them to the rare and unique conversations between David Frost, the British journalist and Richard Nixon, the former US president in 1977.

The series draws on footage from a dozen interviews between the Russian president and Mr Stone. The most recent interview was recorded in February, after Donald Trump was inaugurated to the presidency.

US President Donald J. Trump (C-L) waves as he walks with First Lady Melania Trump (C-R) during the the Inaugural Parade after Trump was sworn in as the 45th President of the United States in Washington, DC, USA, 20 January 2017. Credit: EVAN VUCCI/POOL/EPA


The film will touch on the allegations that Russia interfered in the presidential election, Moscow's role in Syria and Ukraine and the Kremlin's relationship with the US.

A promotional clip shows Mr Putin smirking when Mr Stone asks: "Why did Russia hack the election?" 

Mr Stone, an Academy Award winner known as Hollywood's most controversial and political director is a long time critic of American power. 

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

Mr Stone worked on the series with Fernando Sulichin, a longtime documentary producer.  The two men have previously collaborated on films about Fidel Castro, Hugo Chavez and others. 

Mr Stone's most recent film release was "Snowden", an account of Edward Snowden's decision to leak information about the National Security Agency. 

He interviewed Mr Snowden several times, after the whistleblower had fled to Moscow. It was during these trips to Russia that Mr Stone gained access to Mr Putin. 

He began meeting with the Russian president regularly, interviewing him at various points over a two year time span. 

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