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Clooney stars in Berlinale opener; will meet Merkel to discuss migrants

Thursday, February 11, 2016 - 01:35

George Clooney tells news conference that he will meet German Chancellor Angela Merkel to discuss the migrant crisis. Rough cut (no reporter narration).

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(ROUGH CUT - NO REPORTER NARRATION) STORY: The international premiere at the Berlin film festival for the Coen brothers' "Hail, Caesar!" turned into a debate about refugees on Thursday (February 11) as the filmmakers and cast found themselves challenged at a news conference to do more to end the crisis. Over one million refugees arrived in Europe last year, many fleeing war and poverty. Thousands died in the perilous journey, mostly by sea and then land. The influx has put governments under strain, and countries are tightening their asylum rules. One reporter suggested that George Clooney, one of the stars of "Hail, Caesar!", should do a remake of his film "Syriana" which was about murky oil industry deals in the Middle East, but this time focus on refugees. Clooney responded that he would be meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Friday to discuss refugees, and would visit a refugee centre. Clooney, who is married to the human rights lawyer Amal Alamuddin, also said he had visited some dangerous places in order to help the cause of refugees. But he said he was not sure the cinema was the best place to try to solve the crisis. The Coen brothers also pushed back at the suggestion that the film industry is the right place to deal with a major political and social issue like the millions of refugees fleeing conflict in the Middle East and elsewhere, saying "Hail, Caesar" was intended to be an affectionate look at the Hollywood studio system of the 1950s, through the eyes of a fixer who kept stars names off police blotters and out of the gossip columns.

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Clooney stars in Berlinale opener; will meet Merkel to discuss migrants

Thursday, February 11, 2016 - 01:35