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  • Writer's pictureFred Litwin

Oliver Stone and Nazarbayev

Nursultan Nazarbayev appears in the film Qazaq: History Of The Golden Man.

A foundation controlled by former Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbaev paid at least $5 million for a 2021 documentary that sought to whitewash the authoritarian leader's image, an independent investigation has revealed.

Qazaq: History Of The Golden Man, a documentary produced by pro-Kremlin U.S. filmmaker Igor Lopatonok, centers around a lengthy interview with the long-serving Nazarbaev done by famous yet controversial U.S. film director Oliver Stone, who also made documentaries about Russian President Vladimir Putin, Cuban leader Fidel Castro, and Venezuelan strongman Hugo Chavez.

Nazarbaev, who ruled Kazakhstan with an iron fist for 30 years, speaks about his childhood, political career, the collapse of the Soviet Union, and Kazakhstan's formation as an independent state.

The documentary was criticized by many film experts and dubbed by one a "hagiographic ode" that became part of Nazarbaev's "ongoing cult of personality."

The documentary was released in 2021 both as an eight-part miniseries and feature film. It had been in the works since late 2019 -- after Nazarbaev had stepped down from the presidency, though he continued to enjoy enormous political clout in Kazakhstan.

According to an investigation by the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP), a global network of investigative journalists, and the Kazakh-based media site that was released on March 5 (From Nazarbaev To Lukashenka: Hollywood In The Service Of Dictators), Nazarbaev was personally involved in the making of the film.

"Nazarbaev would constantly edit the film, trying to improve [the depiction of] his image," a member of the film crew told OCCRP.

Nazarbaev was reportedly satisfied with the final cut of the film, the investigators said.

The Nazarbaev Fund -- a charity foundation established when Nazarbaev was in power in 2010 and chaired by daughter Darigha Nazarbaeva -- paid at least $5 million to Lopatonok and Stone, according to the investigation.

Lopatonok and Stone had previously denied any Kazakh government involvement in the project.

Neither Nazarbaev nor his daughter responded to the investigators' request for comment.

Previous Relevant Blog Posts

There were plans to use Oliver Stone to make documentaries on several dictators.

Some people are noticing that Stone's affair with Nazarbayev is unseemly.

Stone has made an 8-hour documentary about Nazarbayev.

Previous Blog Posts on Oliver Stone's Politics

Stone gets it all wrong again.

Stone fawns over Putin in an interview with Chris Wallace.

Stone sounds insane in an interview with Russell Brand.

JFK Jr. walks out of a dinner with Oliver Stone.

Here is an opinion piece I wrote for the Jerusalem Post about Stone's appearance at the Jerusalem Film Festival.

Even a left-wing newspaper in Israel takes exception to Stone's appearance.

Stone flatters Putin in a Spanish interview.

Oliver Stone is on the side of Russia.

Stone tells the Guardian that Putin is a great leader for Russia.

Stone claims the United States might use a nuclear bomb in Ukraine.

At the Barcelona Film Festival Stone praises Putin and criticizes the United States.

Stone tweets that the United States might use nuclear weapons in Ukraine.

Stone tells Matt Taibbi that if Russia invades Ukraine, it can take what wants in a day.

The Telegraph criticizes Stone's friendship with Putin.

In a radio interview, Stone says the US is at fault for Putin's invasion of Ukraine.

Stone is one of many celebrities who side with Putin.

Stone posts on Facebook that Putin invaded Ukraine because of an American trap.

Putin showed Stone a fake video and Stone fell for it.

A bizarre excerpt from Stone's interviews with Putin.

Stone just repeats Putin's talking points on Ukraine.

Of course, the United States is at fault, according to Stone.

There is unrest in Kazakhstan -- will Stone blame it on the United States?

Stone is against American arms sales to Taiwan.

A journalist tells the truth about Stone's rants.

Stone does not want a free Cuba.

Some people are noticing that Stone's affair with Nazarbayev is unseemly.

Stone has made an 8-hour documentary about Nazarbayev.

Relevant Links on Oliver Stone's Politics

Over the past several months, I have shown in multiple blog posts how Oliver Stone's documentary series, JFK Revisited and JFK: Destiny Betrayed, misleads viewers. In fact, despite months of work, there are still many more misleading segments that need to be addressed. It's no wonder that the fact checkers of Netflix nixed the airing of the films.

There is a choice between four hours of tendentious nonsense (JFK: Destiny Betrayed) and two hours (JFK Revisited: Through the Looking Glass). As a handy guide for viewers, here are all those posts in order of their appearance in JFK: Destiny Betrayed and JFK Revisited: Through the Looking Glass, preceded by some general critiques.


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