Hell First, Then Heaven and Earth

An Interview With Oliver Stone

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Director Oliver Stone's films include Platoon, Born on the Fourth of July, Wall Street, The Doors, and JFK. His latest movie, Heaven and Earth, is based on two autobiographical books by Le Ly Hayslip, a Vietnamese Buddhist who survived rape, torture, and the desecration of her village by the French and by the Americans. After marrying an American military adviser, she came to the United States and now lives in California. Heaven and Earth is the third of Stone's films dealing with the Vietnam War, but the first one in which Buddhism plays a dominant role. Oliver Stone was born in New York City in 1946. In 1965 he left Yale University for six months to teach English at an institute for ethnic Chinese in South Vietnam. After a stint in the Merchant Marine, he returned to Yale, where he spent so much time working on a novel that he flunked his coursework. In 1967, he enlisted in the army and returned to Vietnam.

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