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Suburbicon Shows The 'Definition Of White Privilege,' Says Matt Damon

The timeliness of Suburbicon isn't lost on its star.

Directed by George Clooney, the dark crime film—that definitely isn't a comedySuburbicon had its world premiere at the Venice Film Festival on Saturday evening. Its script, penned by Clooney and his writing writing partner Grant Heslov, was written during current President of the United States Donald Trump's campaign for office, and combines a scrapped Coen Brothers draft about murderous ruffians with the true-to-life story of the Myers, an African American family that faced a constant barrage of race riots after moving into a lily-white neighborhood in the '50s.

Suburbicon stars Matt Damon as Gardner, an everyday workingman whose life is flipped upside down after a home invasion goes horribly awry. The idyllic area he and his neighbors once knew is rattled, forever changed as others blame the new-to-town African American family that just moved in for the sudden onslaught of violence. 

At the Venice Film Festival, Damon spoke out about the harrowing nature of the film that hits close to home for those living in the States. "It's kind of the definition of white privilege when you're riding around your neighborhood on a bicycle covered in blood murdering people and the African American family is getting blamed for it," said Damon of the premise of Suburbicon (via The Hollywood Reporter). "We couldn't have predicted obviously when we were filming these race riots, 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."

For director Clooney, Suburbicon is more about restoration, about those who have committed racism and prejudice facing the injustices and working to amend those actions. "I grew up in the South in the '60s and '70s during the civil rights movement. Segregation was going away," Clooney stated. "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 realized that we still have a lot of work to do from our original sin of slavery and racism.

Clooney also addressed initial reactions to the film, which were ones of anger after seeing few differences between the riots of yesteryear shown on screen in Suburbicon and the ones that have happened on television in the past few weeks. 

"It is an angry film. If you go to our country, depending on which side of the aisle you sit on, it's probably the angriest I've ever seen the country, and I lived through the Watergate period of time. There's a dark cloud hanging over our country right now. But people are angry," explained Clooney. "A lot of us are angry, angry at ourselves, angry at the way the country is going, and angry at the way the world is going. This seems to reflect that. I don't think that that's a bad thing. I think that's a fair thing to do. We didn't want this to just be this polemic that's a civics lesson. We wanted it to be funny. We wanted it to be mean. But it certainly got angry and it got angrier as we were shooting."

The director was quick to assert that Suburbicon isn't about Trump, though. It's a film about "our coming to terms constantly with the idea that we have never addressed our issues of race fully," focused through the eyes of a child as a sort of tale of hope for the next generation. "I do believe in the youth and I do believe that we're going to get through all these things," he said.

Suburbicon also stars Julianne Moore, Noah Jupe, and Oscar Isaac, and is set to open in theaters on October 27. 

Until then, check out some of the other movies we think will impress you this fall.