Belfast Telegraph

George Clooney fears America is angrier than ever

The star addresses issues of racism in his new directorial effort Suburbicon.

George Clooney tapped into the "dark cloud" hanging over the U.S. to find inspiration for his new movie Suburbicon.

The American star has watched racial tensions spiral out of control in his native country after white supremacists marched in Charlottesville, Virginia last month (Aug17) at a deadly rally and he is convinced the nation is in the grips of a very dark period.

"A lot of us are angry — angry at ourselves, angry at the way that the country is going, angry at the way the world is going," George told Associated Press reporters at the world premiere of Suburbicon at the Venice Film Festival in Italy on Saturday (02Sep17). "It's probably the angriest I have ever seen the country, and I lived through the Watergate period of time (in the 1970s). There is a dark cloud hanging over our country right now."

Suburbicon, Clooney's sixth directorial effort, was made from a script written by brothers Joel Coen and Ethan Coen, and the movie tackles American racism head-on. The screenplay centres around the false accusations launched against an African-American family, who are blamed for a wave of violence sweeping the neighbourhood shortly after they move in.

“It’s kind of the definition of white privilege when you’re riding around your neighbourhood on a bicycle covered in blood murdering people and the African-American family is getting blamed for it,” said Suburbicon star Matt Damon of his killer character in the film. “We couldn’t have predicted obviously when we were filming these race riots (for the movie), that we would have something like Charlottesville. It does speak to the fact that these issues have not and are not going away until there’s an honest reckoning in our country.”

Director George hopes the film, which also stars Julianne Moore and Oscar Isaac, will help prompt some sort of restitution for centuries of racial crimes against African-Americans.

“I grew up in the ‘South in the ‘60s and ‘70s during the Civil Rights Movement. Segregation was going away,” he recalled. “We thought we were putting these issues to bed. And of course we weren’t. And we had these eruptions that blew up every few years.

"And we realised that we still have a lot of work to do from our original sin of slavery and racism.”

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