Oliver Stone believes the critical mauling his epic Alexander received last year (04) was the inevitable result of America's youth misunderstanding ancient history.

Stone, who recently re-edited the film for its DVD release, puts Alexander's poor reception down to previous movies that glamorise history.

He says, "Because of Braveheart, I think kids see ancient times as, 'Hey man, that's violence!' They don't see it as separate cultures that in some cases had stronger values than ours.

"The Greek culture in its entirety is what I was going for, or the Persian culture. It's not just a hero's tale. Alexander was a flawed hero, a complex character.

"My reputation has been battered to death so many times, I'm surprised I'm still alive."

29/07/2005 09:07