George Clooney Put on the Spot About Refugee Crisis at Berlin Film Festival
Germany’s Berlin Film Festival opened with a call for celebrities and moviemakers to do more for European refugees on Thursday. George Clooney and the Coen brothers launched this year’s event with the international premiere of Hail, Caesar!, but members of the media quickly made it clear they weren’t there solely to chat about movies at a press conference.
Reporters bombarded the talent before them with questions about the ongoing European refugee crisis, and one journalist urged Clooney to remake his movie Syriana, but focus on the problem instead of oil industry deals in the Middle East. The actor, who has been tackling the refugee crisis in Sudan for many years, was well prepared and explained to the media that he would be meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Friday to discuss refugees, and would visit a refugee center. But he insisted making a movie about the crisis is not the way forward. “I think it is best told right now in the news media,” the actor, who is married to top human rights lawyer Amal Alamuddin, said. “I think it’s not told enough – certainly in our country it’s not told enough – and not talked about enough.” Filmmaker Joel Coen had a different approach to the issue, adding, “That’s a very important issue and it’s something that I would be very interested to see movies address, but it’s absurd to say, if I may say so, that anyone who happens to be in public life or in some kind of creative endeavor, to point a finger and say, ‘You should be helping this particular story…'”