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September 1st, 2017

Lynda Myers tells the story of her parents, who were harassed and threatened by their white neighbors in an effort to get them to move out of Levittown, Pennsylvania, in the 1950s.

The Myers family, who were African-American, moved into a cookie-cutter suburb populated entirely by white people in the summer of 1957. It’s the true story that inspired Clooney’s Suburbicon, a drama starring Matt Damon and Julianne Moore that debuts Sept. 2 at the Venice Film Festival.

“Those in the North love to think they had nothing to do with [racism],” Clooney tells The Hollywood Reporter. “They love to wash their hands and say: ‘Actually, we were the liberals. We were against slavery and pro-civil rights.’ And the truth of the matter was much more complicated. There were a lot of problems, particularly in places like Levittown.”

The movie interweaves two tales — one involving the black family, the other a seemingly normal white family next door that turns out to have its own dark secret — and could not be better timed, coming soon after the Aug. 12 events of Charlottesville and the uproar following President Donald Trump’s apparent defense of the white supremacists who had demonstrated there.

“What’s been so demoralizing is that, I don’t think anyone thought George was prescient in what we were shooting; we all felt we were talking about things that had happened in the past,” says Moore. “But what’s happened recently has been absolutely shocking.”

Levittown was a planned community of some 17,000 almost-identical homes, designed to be the perfect suburb for residents fleeing the expensive, crowded cities. That, at least, was the way it was conceived by William Levitt, who built several such housing projects across the country (the original, best-known Levittown was on Long Island). But he may also have had other things in mind when he envisioned this most homogeneous of environments: to create a haven where white people could live without the presence of minorities, especially African-Americans.

“The reality was, William Levitt was a bigot,” says Clooney. “And William Levitt wouldn’t let blacks move into his homes and was taken to court and ordered to integrate. And rather than integrate, he sold his property.”

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Current Projects
ALL AMERICAN (2018)
Filming
When a star high school football player from South Central is recruited to play for Beverly Hills High School, two separate worlds collide.

BEYOND THE BADGE (2018)
Post-Production
Synopsis not yet available.

BOLDEN (2018)
Completed
A mythical account of the life of Buddy Bolden, the first Cornet King of New Orleans.

SUBURBICON (2017)
In theaters Oct 27 (USA) & Nov 24 (UK)
A home invasion rattles a quiet family town.

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