Oliver Stone's The Putin Interviews, a four-part documentary for which the director got "extensive access" to the Russian president between July 2015 and February 2017, airs on Showtime June 12-15, and Bloomberg got early access to the first two episodes. Bloomberg notes that they offer "little that's new" about Putin, but that doesn't mean there aren't interesting moments, such as Putin being shown working out on an exercise machine, feeding a horse, or playing ice hockey. Three notable quotes:
- No bad days: "I am not a woman, so I don’t have bad days. I am not trying to insult anyone. That’s just the nature of things. There are certain natural cycles."
- On whether he'd shower in a submarine next to a gay man: "Well, I prefer not to go to the shower with him. Why provoke him? But you know, I’m a judo master."
- On the prospect of a war between nuclear superpowers: "As of today a missile shield would not protect the territory of the United States. Nobody would survive."
Reviews for the documentary are varied, with many criticizing Stone for seeming to encourage Putin instead of challenging him. Foreign Policy
says the documentary "somehow manages to both spout the Kremlin line and fall back on the laziest American clichés about Russia," while the Daily Beast
calls it a "wildly irresponsible love letter" to Putin. But other outlets are not so critical; Variety
, for example, says it's "a surprisingly intimate set of conversations" that creates "a destabilizing portrait" of Putin. (Putin was also recently interviewed by Megyn Kelly