‘We never could have predicted’
And it wasn’t just Irma and Harvey — much of the Suburbicon press conference revolved around the news, with Trump, Charlottesville and race relations dominating the conversation. George Clooney talks with @glasneronfilm about the twins, animated movies & how some have been “scapegoating Mexicans & Muslims.” #cbcent pic.twitter.com/qsVZRL7DS9—
They are protested by angry neighbours, who build a fence around their home and try to overcharge them at the grocery store. Set in a suburban neighbourhood in the 1950s, it focuses on a family caught up with the mob, murder and money issues. They are now victims and they’re out of their homes and they are going to be suffering for a long period of time,” he told reporters. “Houston is Syria quite honestly.”
And just like that, George Clooney steered his Suburbicon press conference into serious territory Sunday afternoon at TIFF, comparing the Syrian refugee crisis to the hurricane devastation in the southern U.S. “I’ve been hearing a lot of discussions about building walls and scapegoating Mexicans and Muslims and I always thought it was important to remind ourselves that these aren’t things we’ve just heard. ‘I don’t like the idea of winking at white supremacists:’ George Clooney talks Suburbicon0:51
Still, the family’s story takes on an added relevance after racially tinged violence in Charlottesville, the Virginia town where white supremacists and neo-Nazis clashed with anti-racist demonstrators. Matt Damon said the filmmakers never could have predicted the film would be released at a time when racism was again ascendant. That these have been around for a long time,” he told CBC News Saturday night at the premiere. That’s drawn comparisons to current race relations in the U.S. — something Clooney said was intentional. “I think you write these things and you make ’em because they feel honest and true and relevant and then sometimes current events agree,” he said. 27. ‘Houston is Syria quite honestly,’ says George Clooney0:53
“Much like the people and children in Syria, we are going to have to find ways to be involved. That is our job as citizens of the world.”
As the festival rolls into its fourth day, both monster Hurricane Irma and the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey were top of mind, with some of the fest’s celebrations dialled back. A few TIFF parties thrown by Miami’s film and tourism industry were scrapped out of “concern” for the people of Florida while other Florida-based actors missed the fest. “People in Houston are now refugees based on something that had nothing to do with them. “You become right in the bullseye of the zeitgeist and sometimes you don’t.”
Surburbicon will be released in theatres Oct. But it also shows the struggles of the first black family to move into that same neighbourhood and the torrent of racism that follows. The film, directed by Clooney, stars Matt Damon and Julianne Moore. They didn’t do anything.