The veteran director has been accused of pandering to Putin for his four-hour documentary on the Russian leader, but he remains unrepentant. Could it be the climax to his career?

‘Have you ever been beaten?” Vladimir Putin poses the question to Oliver Stone close to the end of Stone’s extraordinary four-hour documentary on the Russian leader. “Yes,” says Stone. “So, it’s not going to be something new, because you are going to suffer for what you are doing,” says the Russian leader, before striding out of a room that conjures the spirit of the Sistine chapel crossed with the most fevered fantasies of Donald Trump’s interior designer.

In this instance, Putin was right. Stone’s epic four-part film The Putin Interviews was described by the Daily Beast as a “wildly irresponsible love letter” to Russia’s president. It “says as much about Oliver Stone as it does Vladimir Putin”, said CNN. “Flattery, but little scepticism,” said the New York Times.

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