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tv   Amanpour Company  PBS  November 29, 2018 12:00am-1:01am PST

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hello, everyone, and welcome to "amanpour & co." here's what's coming up. the white house faces a congressional grilling over its support for saudi arabia. what does that mean fog the devastatr in yemen? i'll ask a top official from the anti-saudi coalition. plus -- >> you wrote you were the most pathetic human being i've ever seen on the internet in my entire life. >> behind every hateful view expressed online,a there is person. meet the podcaster trying to empathize one comment at a time. >> sometimes they say i'm mad. >> s hisry is almost as famous as his art, vincent van gogh.
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my conversation with the actor' willem daflaying him on the silver screen. uniworld is a proud sponsor of "amanpour & co." whenea tollman founded a collection of boutique hotels, she had bigger dreams, and those , eams were on the water, a river specificalltiple rivers that would one day be home to uniworld river cruises and their floating boutique hotels. today that dream sets sail in ro , asia, india, egypt, and more. bookings available through your travel agent. for more information, visit >> additional support has been provided by rosalind p. walter, bernard and irene schwartz, sue and edgar wachenheim iii, the cheryl and philip milstein family, seton melvin, judy and sh weston, and by contributions to your pbs stations from viewers like you.
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thank you. welcome to the program, everyone. i'm christiane alonpour in on. the u.s. defense secrery james mattis and the secretary of state mike pompeo faced a grilling on capitol hill today when they went up to brief senators on saudi arabia a bipartisan caucus denounced what they deemed the administration's feeble response to the murder and dismemberment of the sau journalist jamal khashoggi. they want the u.s. to stop supporting the saudi-led war in yemen. pompeo said the suffering ere, ofote, grieves him but it would be, quote, a hel lot worse if the u.s. weren't involved. republican senator bob corker says that he's skeptical of forcing the administration's hand but is nonetheless dissatisfied by its actions. so far. >> i think 80%f the people left the hearing this morning
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not feeling like an appropriate response has been forthcomg. >> yemen was already the poorest country he middle east when smite houthi forces supported by iran took advantage of a ifficult transition of power to launch a coup against the sau-backed government in 2015. the saudis and its sunni partners backed by the united states responded with devastating force, viewing the conflict as a proxy war with iran. tens of thousands of yis have been killed since the war erupted three years ago and millions othem, half the population, are on the verge of famine according to the united nations. now the u.n. is mediating the first phase of negotiations to end the war due to start next month in sweden. will all or any of the sides seize the opportunity? i asked the man who represents i yemen's hooalition, the foreign minister hisham sharaf
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abdullah who joined me from sae capitaa. minister abdullah, welcome to the program. >> thank you. >> so there you are siin sanaa, the capital of yemen, anc yontry is literally being torn apart as we speak. we understand there are ting to be peaks starting in december. can you confirm that that is going to happen, that the houthis back that, and that youm willow be represented? >> yes. we already expressed our willingness and readiness to attend those peace consultations. there are not talks yet. there are the trust measures between the parties. >> let's take first steps first. can i ask you, is everything on the table, or are there areas that the houthis say, no, we're not going to discuss that? do you have red lines ahead of this first step?
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>> really, everything will be on the table for thtrust building measures to prepare for the negotiations. we have to understand this. first consultations, build the trust between the warring parties, and then we will go to the negotiations where a lot of deals will be made. >> so, minister abdullah, what has brouu to this point because it's been incredibly difficult to bring both sides to any kind of peace negotiations? why are you even accepting to do this? >> okay, i'll tell you why. m r the sake of our population who is suffering flot of things, and for the sake of our citizens, for the yemeni people we are ready to sit at the table to relieve th from all these ings happening to our country. >> there seem to be a lot of different factions in the houthi movement. you are sounding reasonable right now. however, the leader of the houthi movement wrote op-ed
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"the washington post" a few weeks ago, muhammad al houthi. he said the united states calling to stop the war on yemen is nothing but a way to save face after the humiliation caused by saudi arabia and its spoiled leader crown prince mohammad bin salman. who has ignored washington's pleas to clarify khashoggi's murder. moreover, trump and his administration clearly prefer ti continuedevastating war because of the economic returns it produces. they drool over these arms sales prices.ui that's fiery, that puts the united states with its back to the wall. it coalition.t the saudi but just lay out your position on the united states right now. >> let me tell you something first. i am the foreign minister of ths nationvation government in sanaa. it's composed of two parties. they are the houthis and their supporters and gpc, general peop's congress.
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and their supporters. we are trying to bring peace to our population. peace for the peop of yemen, not only peace for these parties and when you speak about the u.n. and the united states still, we do believe the united states as a country is a peace-loving country. i lived in that country for some time and i know it. we're not talking about the administration. and sometimes we try to proach ute americans. we try our best,oday if you read what the secretary of state mr. pompeo article published i think in "the new york times," what you hear from mr. matias, the secretary of defense, and mr. pompeo on his article are two different things. these guys aren't trying. in fact, the secretary of state, are trying to fight iran in our territories.
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why don't they go to iran? why should the united states play this role of fighting iran through the saudis in yemen? we need yemen as yemen. we need the u.s. good efforts to bring peace to yemen, not to encourage the saudis to do me and more for this proxy war, fighting iran in yemen. that's my position. ou mentioned the article that secretary of state pompeo wrote. it was actually in "thouwall streetal." yes, it was today, in fact. >> sorry."t wall street journal." >> easy mistake to make from all the way over there in sanaa. tehran, it says -- >> sometimes, yes. >> pompeo says tehran is establishing a hezbollah-like entity on the arabn peninsula. a militant group with political power that can hold saudi hostage as hezbollah's missiles in southern leban threaten israel.
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in oth words, they are viewing you as iran's hezbollah-like proxiein yemen. being a direct threat to their ally, saudi arabia. what do you say to that? >> i deny that. and i can say, if iran is doing something the americans should know, with nikki haley provided the security council in terms of iran, intvention in i can't tell you, we improve them to depend them ourselves. the iranians didn't bring any missiles to yemen, and i tell the whole world we have missiles that can fight the saus for years. so, again, when they want to find the reason, they say ira is doing the work of hezbollah in yemen. no. the reason that i say no, why we
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are going for peace lks, why we are going tore s why are we going to do all these measures to build trust, to release prisoners, to open the sanaa port. we are not the story they are trying all over the the current a -inistration is- they have their own problems with thi iranian issu and they did not try to solve it, except to go to yemen with the saudis. if the americans are that afraid the strait of hormuz ishere. they can stop eing that comes to any country in this region through that place. look to come and bombard yemen for four years. >> are you really denying ouat you, thei movement, gets absolutely no support or material help from iran?
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>> as a coalition, we, the gpc, have a coaliti with the houthis. i can tell you that we are not getting any support from iran. if anyone has the documents, the satellites, pictures, anything that proves that, let them show it to the world. not to go and see scud missiles agicwe got from the soviet union a long tim and we impred them, and tried to prove to the world these are il iranian mi. we did not shoot at the saudis for two years waiting for something to happen until we found that no one is listening to us.ta weed to defend ourselves. our arsenal is a defensive one o for attacks against any country. and we are here in sanaa. come to us, we'll show it to
12:12 am >>ther question, as i said there are many different factions and perhaps competing factions amongst the houthi population. are you saying that none of the houthis gets support from iran? >> if one of these factions that you say are getting or is getting something or those revolutionary guards in iran are doing something, explain them to us. show them to u if everyone just continues to say the houthis, iran, hezbollah,e will not reach peace. let's reach peace. let's go there. build measures for trust and art dismantling many militias in the south. we are only one military or t's say, fighting party. the other guys have 10 to 15 er dit militias and no one can control them. here we can control our people. >> okay. now let me ask you about the
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united states because as we've discussed the united states backs the sai-led coalition. there have been bombings definitely all over yemen including a very paine that happened. this is just one of the many that made headlines in the summer where 44 children were killed. it was the infamous bombing of the school bus and "the new york times" has written that this insite has now become someof a shrine on a brick wall near , the cratrge painted letters both in english and arabic which says, america kills yemeni children. what is happening now the ground? because they say they found american markings on the what is happon the ground when it comes to how yemenis view the united states? >> let me tell you first there are many shrines in yemen. there are many places ere
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bombed and hundreds were killed. one here is in sanaa, very close to us. in that place about 599 people were killed in this big hole. what you mentioned is a small example of these kinds of urssacres that happened to people.g we are not sayat we cannot speak with the americans at all. we are talking about this big continent called the united states of america. but the administration now is really siding with our enemy who is killing us and providing them with information, intelligence, precise targeting of these places where they can bomb. , again, we're asking th americans, prove it to the world that you want peace. try to stop weapons coming to saudi arabia, trying to mediate in very good manner by whi you don't side with the saudis because they are buying weapons
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from you or providing oil. we don't think of america as an enemy. when we speak sometimes some slogan death to america, we than the administration, those who are killing use who are providing the weapons, who provide the fuel, but we love the american people. this is a continent you can curse or hate. >> let me ask you in direct response to this bbing of that particular bus in august, president trump was asked about ite nd he said it's because saudis do not know how to use advanced u.s. weapons. and i'm going to quote. that was basically people who didn't know how to use the weapon, which is horrible. i'll be talking about a lot of things with the saudis but certainly i wouldn't be having people that don't know how to use the weapons shoot buses with children. what is your response to that.
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>> with all due respect, the president changes his tone to the saudis. again, ty are doing things th he advice of american intelligence information. this place, they work through computers. they're not working throh the saudis so you'll specify the target.nd you'll lock itou shoot. so, again, these kinds of justifications are not accepted by us. if the america want to fight the wa exactly what they want, then let them come but not blame the saudis. again, i blame the defense department, i blame the military of the u.s. for what they're doing and encouraging the saudis to train on us, on our population. enough is enough. stop this kind of wa the only country in the world that can stop the war, and i say it in front of the whole wardly, is the united statesitnot the nations. it's the u.s. who can stop this war because they are the
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strongest backers of the saudis. ib so let me see whether you accept any respoity for what the houthis are doing. not long ago i had an interview th david beasley. he is the head of the u.n. world food program who is responsible for trying to alleviate at least some of the humanitarian burdene and when iously interviewed him,rse was very on saudi arabia and what they were doing around the port of hodeidah. now he's saying he's angry with wh the houthis are doing particularly around the port, particularly in holding up and threatening the flow of li su. now, here is what he told me just a few days ago. >> i'm being hard on the houthis because they don't provide the access we need.en theyus the visas and equipment we need for the pe onnel to deliver the food assistance in the different regis throughout yemen. the saudis have been more cooperative. the uae has really been
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remarkably cooperative in working with us in terms of humanitarian financial support and access. here's what's plorable. when i left, literally, two days after i left. we found inside our red sea mill grain silo what are the type of land mines houthis have been usinand this is in a uthi-controlled areas, seven land mines inside our facility inside the grain bins that were placed there just in the past few days. iney have been entering our facilities, violevery humanitarian principle, putting our people who are working there lives on the line. it has to stop. t t is a serious accusation. as you know just as well as i do,ni using hurian splits for -- supplies for military ol purposes is a ion of international law. i i saw this interview an met him personally in sanaa. first, there were some problems, and i do admit with the
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procedures to get visas, to get otherequipment. and we, the national salvation government, have done all things required to get everything required by all these organizations, unicef and now about the mines, i speak mainly about the mines after i visaw your interview with i personally went to the defense department. i went to the guys who are in hodeidah, and i found out -- of course they are now doing some investigation. we did not put those mines and we want -- we requested the u.n. to give us the pictures of these mines to say if they're ours or the other party who put them inside that mill, why didn't they tell us after they returnee back from ah? about this we will investigate it. but now i can tell m david beasley that we are investigating this and we are writing aull report to him, to
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wsp, and we are going to prove th why should we put mines in the mill that is feeding our people in yemen? why should we do it? >> he also said, and you heard, the houthis are making it jolly hard for humanitarians to come and relieve the suffering including the wfp. i mean, that has to stop. >> we are going to stop it. we are open to all u.n. comments, any obstacles. we are going to stop it. as i said, we are trying to help our population. why should we make it difficult for our people to get food? there's no rational reason for that. anything that's being done by any glupz in that area, there are many groups, we are ready to deal with it and facilitateit everythingthe u.n. and any humanitarian agency by coalition. who are >> i hope the u.n. can rely on
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this promise from you via our ni program t because it is for your people and it's fundamental. you anyour leadership have recently mentioned the death and dismembering of our colleague, the saudi journalist jamal khashoggi. has his brutal murdeby the sa is had the beneficial impact of focusing attention on yemen? >> yes, it played a big role in getting the crown prince in different directions, but it really did brought to yemen. while khashoggi really died as a martyr in a very bad occasion thousands and thousands of cmenis are dying every day because of the saulition. >> all right, okay.po and t out that yemen is suffering from what the u.n. calls the worst humanitarian crisis in the world right now.
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hareign minister abdullah, you for joining us from sanaa in yemen. >> thank you, christne. and, as always, we have asked saudi officials toome on our program to respond and we will continue to ask. > coming up on this program, my conversation with the actor willem dafoe who plays the artist vincent van gogh. ess lush and floral landsc calmed his tortured soul. but first, the picture painted of the online world is n always pretty. trolls and keyboard warriors. we're advised to ignore the haters, but with our guest decides to take them on. >> hi, i'm dylan marron. i'm start a new podcast called "conversations with people who hate me." it's an interview series where i get to know people behind the negative and hateful messages i've received on the >> the point, in dylan's words, remember, there's a human on the other side of the screen. dylan marron is a digital
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contrary to examining the intense interface between race, sexual assault, and privilegic he told our menendez why he believes empathy is not endorsement. >> so here is stparty of your y i have never got ann clear answer on which is you're veained as an actor but yo really made a name for yourself making digital videos that are much more in the activist vein how did you make the jump? >> i wasn actor all through high school. i got to college and joined a sketch comedy group and i loved it. i loved this idea of working with a group to satirize your community. to write stuff from yourself. i wrote a full length play with a weiend of mine. ot some opportunities to perform it hereyo in ne. i joined a theater company here. i was with them for four years and then with all thstuff i was doing there, i was naturally evolving into talking about social issues through my work. so i wanted to translate that
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from the stage to the internet. and that's what i did. >> how do you make the jump from that to social justice videos? >> so i guess the first video series really took off was every single word. it's a video series where i edit down to people spoken. it's speaking the language of the internet. >> short videos. >> tragically short. and it's speaking theanguage of the internet. it's ultimately a super cut and people found it super of course, through the humor there is something else being said. these characters are only peripheral. do these characters havemeny can you understand the story, the larger story of the movie if you only see the lines spoken by these people of color? and so that kind of took off and i realized the internet s this really wonderful way to talk t abry complex issues if you could challenge yourself to
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distill it into very -- into a more simple output. >> for your next series you tht yourself ivideo. >> yes. the next big series after that was in response to the an hobic bathroom bills that were gaining media attention around the united states, and i wanted to humanize the ver people at the center of the issue rather than having pundits cnsider this. i start add seriled sitting in bathrooms are trans e pe >> i see and you right when you walked in with gasped. >> wealked about super money day stuff, just who they are, snacks they like we also talked things about transitioning only as long as my guests were comfortable with it. but the main point of it was to ju say, like, hate grows from fear, and fear grows from not knowing. >> my question with that series and then with your series on boxing where you take
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sociological phenomenon and re debunk them,he people who are scared or are the people who don't understand the issue the way you might understand it watching that and are they bein persua that content? >> so that was a real thing i had to wrestle with. i think when i was making those series, i truly thought i am reaching all of the people that i need to reach because you just see a number and sometimes you see these enormous numbers and you see it growing, so you think that you are reaching all the people you need to reach and you think you are drastically changing minds by sharing these truths that are truths to you on the internet. i quickly learned thatot the case. >> how? >> through comments and messages. at first with the like deluge of negative comments, i just ran away fm it. >> can you give me a sense of what those negative -- as ha someone wha g-mail folder
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called hate mail with lots of mail in it, what's the type of mail you get? >> just a lot of people calling me a faggot. people disagreeing with my take on social issues, but a lot of people telling me i was cancer,t ind of terminology used to describe people who talk about wecial justice on the internet. >> did that hurt o you able to dust it off? >> totally hurt. it totally hurt. early i was getting many people from the right who more identified as conservative, but i was also getting a bch of fellow lefties and that's -- that was, i think, particularly hard to deal with because there's a box in your mind whero can put a comment from someone you're ideologically opposed to. it's very challenging when you get it from someone who is in most ways very similar to you. >> so then you make something out of those comments.
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what is "conversations with people who hate me"? >> conversations with people whe e is my podcast. and it's a show where i call up some of the people who have written negative things to or about me on the internet and we have an extended conversation. >> what is your objective with the podcast? >> the signoff line i always end every episode with is, remember, there's a human on the other side of the screen. and i think my objective with the show is to remind people of that. and that means one for the authors of this negativity, of t the he people they're writing to or about is a human who will maybe read what they have written, but also for the recipients to remember that there is a human who has written this. >> it seems particularly important in the internet e. you're 30. i'm 35. we grew up on the internet. much of our ability to interface with one another is
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informed by the way wspeak to each other online. do you think this is unique to the time we are living in? >> i do. i do. the kind of ntra i've f establishe myself with the show is that empathy is not endorsement. and what i mean by that is just by acknowledging the humanity of someone else does not mean you are immediately co-signing everything they believe, they think, their political ideology. but i do think it is important to see each other as. i'm not saying we should give the most dangerous ideologies room to grow. ght? but i do think it is valuable to acknowledge that those ideologies grow in humans and those humans were once babies. you know? and they were shaped by all of the things that we humans go e, through in lnd there's
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value in only as people feel they have the ability to do so. >> let's talk about the first episode. >> let talk about it. >> you decide to call a man named chris who had written some hateful message on a video you posted about social justice. let's take a listen. >> i don't want to put words in your mouth so correct me if i'm wrong. i was kind of like the image of the social justice warrior, right? >> right, right. >> and how would you define a social justice warrior? don't worry, i won't be offended. >> to me a social justice warrior is a, for the most part, a rich college student who has his parent, mom and dad, pay for everything. they pick and choose t subjects to be angry about in a rld where people really generally don't have that much togry about. >> what did you take from that
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conversation? >> the real kick in his message is that he had called me a piece of [ bleep ]. and, you know, my takeaway from that is it is so easy to feel angry, furious, to feel hate for meone from afar, and it is so t rd when you're on the -- harder when you're on the phone with that person, right? and so the ability to talk to a human wh that put me at and from my relationship with chris i think that it put him at ease as we. it's just easy to talk about -- meaning i'm putting myself in s chries. i can imagine it is easy for him
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to talk about the hate of social justice warriors, sjws, as we are knn on the internet. it's more difficult to define that to the person you're labeling as an sjw when you're on the phone with them. >> i understand what that meanso fo and i understand what itat means for chris. what do you thineans for your listeners? where does it take them? >> great question. i know many people listen who have politically divided homes and it gives them a little sense of hope for how they can communicate with family members who don't agree. i know others -- we do have a good number of conservative listeners, too.he it's notajority, but there are who feel hopeful this is what conversations can sound like. what i'm always really careful to say this is not a
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saescription for activism. you know what i'ng? i'm not saying that everyone must now call their online detractors and then the world will be a betterlace. >> to the contrary. there are activist who is take a very different stance. >> very different. >> and i think have some legitimate concern that by giving a platform, two people who come from a place of hate in some cases, who come from a place of extreme bias. even, you often say, empathy is not an endorsement. but i do wonder if it is legitimatization. >> currently in this moment i really do believe that conversation is crucial to have. i did not invent these dangerous ideologies i also don't believe that by ignoring these dangerous ideologies that you are doing any service to understanding nuance and complexity of what it means to be huma i also know if that quote is then taken out of context then tople will apply it to what they believe to most
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dangerous thing. and then i think it's, of course, misleading the word hatt n in the title because haat i'm referring to is the kind of innocuou, a hate that is written online every day that we see our friends write. >> in addition to speaking to ople who have given you negative comments, you also bring people together in one episode which we're about to listen to. you bring a rape survivor who was very public on columbia's campus with benjamin, a person who has called emma a liar. >> the reason we're here and the reason we're on this call is, in benja few years ago, you wrote emma a message with very few words. you just said you are a liar. emma, how did it feel to receive it? >> honestly, it wa't even just benjamin's message individually that hurt so much. it was the torrential outpouring from the internet of these kinds of messages into my lap.
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>>ell, i apologize for the hurt. i do sincerely apologize for that. i know it may sound trite. that wasn't my intention. but i don't apologize for the disagreement.y you became a vblic person, and you didn't -- from everything i could see, you didn't shy away from the public eye either. maybe some messages should be expected.r and i would ney, like, any death threats or anything like that. i would never do that. i hope that on the spectrum this was rather a banal one. >> you said this was one of the s you'vellenging episo done what about this was challenging for you? >> this is taking a conversation online that is incredibly difficult and trying to give it space to breathe offline. we are seeing, you know, with a mo ment that i fully stand as an ally which is the me too movement, we are seeing a lot of survivors bravely come forward
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as being survivors of sexual assat. and when we have these conversations online about the importance of believing survivors, that's one thing because i think we are- because we have to, we're using talking points and we're using hashtags, and that is crucial for online communication. what's complicated is when you get offline and this was, and this is very specific case, meaning i think it's important to only speak about the specifics of the dynamics between these two people, emma and benjamin, and emma, you know, emma was thrust into the public spotlight. and en a stranger who found his way into emma's inbox with a
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message that said, you know, you are a liar. i think what we're talking about here is e disbelief that some people have when rape survivors come forward. and the demand for forensic evidce when that is itself a incredibly complicated topic. i think this was challenging ca e my job is to make sure that all people on the call feel safe. i need it to make sure emma felt safe talking about this. if benjamin didn't feel comfortable the way the call went, the episode wouldn't have gone out. i think my j is creating a safe space for all of my guestsn including benjand -- >> is it your job to hold them in equal weight? >> well, i don't know that it's important to hold one human's account of what happened to them
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in equal weight to a stranger who's denying haat that ever ened to them, right? a stranger's suggestion that what they say happened to them didn't happe i don't think it's about holding those two things in equal weight. but what i do think my job is, is holding the fact that these are two human people, two human people who were once born, you know, nt through a whole bunch of experiences and communities that shaped who they are today.d at is what has caused them to intersect on my show. thanks for having me. >> a rational and human apprch in an online world that's often anything but. now to an artist whose paintings are among the most rational human and recognizabl t world.
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his style is so distinctive thai undoubtedly one of the first artists any child could recognize. vincent van gogh's story of ta struggle and millness is among the most well known.n who would takee challenge of portraying such a towering figure on the silver screen? willem dafoe, of course, from us art to blockbuster, "platoon" to "spider-man," to "the florida project," doe has done it all and has been nominated for academy awards. his new film is "at eternity's gate," and he tells me he not only learned to portray the old master but to paint like him, too. >> willem dafoe, welcome to the program. >> thank you. >> so first and foremost, it struck me that you look exactly like van gogh in the film. you just do. did you really absorhim? >> well, i tried to inhabit him. as far as looking like him, i never saw it particularly.
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he did so many self-portraits d they're quite differen they're at different stages of his life. but after the fact i felt like him. >> he's an intense, intense human being. van gogh has been depicted every which way. there are at least five movies that have been told him.en ess exhibitions, his work is just so phenomenal and hundreds of millions or tens of millions of dollars every auction piece that comes up. m whe this one different for you? why did you agree to do this? >> primarily because a painter was directing it. a painter that also happens to be a great filmmaker. i've known the director of the movie for a long time. i've been in his studio while or he'sng.
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i worked with him in minor ways on some of his movies.ul i knew that i have to learn to paint in this movie and he would be my teacher. that was thrilling. it's not a traditional bio pic. it concentrates on what he does often with movies about historical figures. usually what they do, is a giv and then they concentrate on an interpretation of their psychological makeup. i think this really concentrates on the work, on painting, on being an artist. we rely very much on his letters and also painting. >> as you say, julia said i didn't want to make a movie about vincent van gogh. ed to make a movie where you, willem dafoe, were willem -- vincent van gogh. >> yes. i think the way the movie is shot and the way we approached d
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it we wao find out what -- we tried to imagine what it would be like to be with his thoughts and be with him doing the things that he did. so we shot in the actual places helper -- he were. i was paintiap. thoach was not so much an interpretation as a desire to inhabit or imagine, have the audience be with him. it's a very subjective camera, and you're with him all the time. ? and that is absolutely clear throughout. as a viewer i really did feel that. tell me because it is remarkable how you were taught to paint by your painter director. >> he starts me out as you would think with very basic things, how to hold a brush, how tthkeep gs in order, all those sorts of things, technique, craft things. but i think more significantly he really shifted how see. he talked to me a lot about making marks and the
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accumulation marks and marks talking to each other to create a swirl that really expressed what you see. a o taught me that you don't rush to represent something. you really see -- you try to paint what you see. so when i'm painting a cypress tree he encourages me not to think about representing, doing a good likeness of the cypress tree but paintg the light, seeing where the dark spots are, where the colors are and just thinking about each individual tet of making the mark and then they accumu and you actually see it in the movie in the sequence where i paint the shoes in real time. you see how all these marks that don't really look correct alraof a sudden tnsform the painting into something that may not be necessary a good likeness but really captures what you're looking at.
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go>> yes. i wag to say that, actually. that is you painting it from beginning to end? >> yes.ow >> >> often, for example, that sequence i was very well coached on and i practiced doing that because i knew i was going to do that more or less in real tie . you don't in real time because that would be tedious maybe. but to shoot it in real time without traditional ge really made it more organic and gave it integrity. because you do see that shift from a series of marks and a swirl of colors into something that does speak to those shoes i'm looking at. >> fast forward in the movie and you arpainting a portrait of the famous dr. gashe, i think his name is. we've chosen a clip from it fro there. it's an amplification about what the painting means and how you felt during thfilm.
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let's just play this moment. >> when i paint, i stop thinking. >> about what? >> i stop thinking. i feel that i'm a part of everything outside and inside of me. i wanted so much to share what i see. >> i mean, it's very, very moving because you know that vincent van gogh is a tortured soul and seems to have a hard time communicang. there are scenesn the film where he's really -- you can't understand why he's bei bullied and kids are throwing stones at him, why people are p destroying hntings. tell me about that, about what that little clip says about him. >> he had a gift and he had a tosion. but hoeconcile the joy and
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connection with that with daily .life was difficult for h socially and famously chronicled in his letters. he had a hard time with people and he was a difficult person ly soci he had problems with women. he had problems with the peoe in the town. he had problems with the whole art market. >> and we're not quite sure why. there's this amazing scene where you as vincent are committed to an insane asylum and his brother who is an ardealer comes to sit him. we're just going to play that. >> teo, come here. >> why did they put you here?
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>> i have no idea, tea. i swear to you. >> there must be a reason. >> from time to time i feel like i'm losing my mind. my mind goes out of me, i'm telling you. it goes out on me. >> what do you mean? >> they y that i scream in the streets, that i cry, that i put scblack paint on my face te the children. >> so a tortured youl. where come down on what his problem was? >> i think he knew a certain kind of ecstasy, a certain kind of joy through his work. but he couldn't reconcile that with daily life. . >> yeah.>> s indicated in the other
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clip, when he was painting and somewhat y relate to this when you feel connected to your work, when you're in the zone, when fl you're in th, you feel well.s and when he tside of that zone, i think he felt very lost. >> and it is extraor to remember that apparently he sold almost nothing when he was alive. >> right, right. but, to be fair, people towards the end of hisife, people were lking about him. g some very positive reviews, so it might have been a matter of time before he started to sell. but i think he made a huge leap. he took a huge break from what was faionable at the time and anytime that happens, i think it takes some timto catch up. >> so, willem dafoe, you have a quite extraordinary prolific -- you were as prolific as van gogh. you've done so many films, 99, i
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think. i think this is your 99th film, and you've done everything frolo art house tobuster. in fact, one of the articles i read about you it said that you could do an art house film or whatever it is but then you had to swerve back to hollywood. you had to do a blockbuster or a sney or something to kee yourself marketable. that's what the system demandedt t what you find or do you enjoy doing this variety? >> that's part of it but the be variety helpuse it keeps from you getting stuck. i always appreciate performing is a thing that can be approached many different ways. it's an activity that can be approached from many f gles. i think your waying things gets challenged. you exercise different muscles. i notice certain patterns of
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things that i'm drawn to. for example, i'm very drawn to very strong directors, whether d they're in istand cinema or studio movies. i basically like to mix it up. it feels healthier. there is that career consideration somewhat, but that's not foremost. it's an artistic choice you don't like to get stuck, keep on going to the same instincts and the same well. i think to keep it loose is to be free because you're alwaywo ing from the beginning when you start a project because you have nothing to comparet to. there's nothing normal. there's nothing regular. so as long as you stay out of that kind of routine, you're freer u can access the imagination and desire to find things out curiosity and wonder mre easily.
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>> you come across as an iconoclast, a bit of a rebel. >> fooled you! >> yeah, exactly. exactly. that's what i was going to say. because you come from an incredibly normal middle class, highly professional family from wisconsin, if i'm not mistaken. >> that's correct. >> i think your father was a doctor. >> yes. >> and your mom?as >> she nurse. >> there you go. and so start with that because you have many siblings, a lot of them became nurses and you talk about how your siblings sort of raised you because your parents were often out working and out all hoass. whatt like growing up in that househo? >> it was a big family. i was toward the end of it. i was brought up by my sisters.e my mwas the original super mom but was truly more of a career woman.
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she worked with my father. they both were workaholics. and i think from that experience i saw that it worked well for them and i think i always seek -- i tend to work with people that i love. i like to work. growing up it was chaos. it was chaos but it gave me a lot of freedom. it's not bad being raised by older sisters. >> not bad at all. you've done, obviously, so many, ft platoon and mississippi burning and trida project which you were nominated for. you played a really sweet person in "the florida oject." you were really there to help these people so down on their ck. what kind of roles do you like playing the most? b the differenween "platoon"
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and "the hotel manager in "the florida project" is massive. >> i like the idea of being transformed, learning something and taking a pointf view i didn't know before. for example, when i played in "the floridat, proj i had no idea that was a sympathetic character. i'm not that attracted to characters because you don't know what they are untilou do them. i'm attracted to situations. in that situation, i knew the filmmaker. i knew we would film in a real month -- motel.e i knewuld mix nonprofessional with professional actors. all those things interested me. it's really the project and the people i'm drawn to. as far as characters, i think if you can identify their function or what kind of pele they are before you even begin to inhabit them that, discourages you from surprising yourself or being
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transformed or learning something. so i think i have a nose for adventure and curiosity. sometimes that bites you back because you never answer your questions. but it's best to start out with questions rather than have an idea and have your job be ex expressing outing. i like to feel like every time is the first time and, of course, that becom ridiculous when you've made as many movies as i do. but somehow there'sn something me that i'm able to do that. i have a certain amnesia. >> or a gift. that is the gift you give to the audience, really, that you come at it with this energy and passion every onme. will younue painting, do you think? have you found a new hobby or a new love? >> you know, i love painting, but the truth is i have a pretty ll maddic life. and i think to rpaint in a serious way, and when i do something, i do it seriously,
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it's hard to bring your studio with you and also it has to be a g y practice. when you're work hour days it doesn't allow much time. i'm foremost a performer and had better stick to that. >> willem dafoe, thank you very much indeed. >> thank you. nice talking to you. >> you too. dafoe gives an incredible performance as van go. that is it for our p tonight. thank you for watching "amanpour & co." on pbs and join us again tomorrow night. uniworld is a proud sponsor of "amanpour & co." when bea tollman founded a
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collectionf boutique hotels, er she had bigg dreams, and thosems dreaere on the water, a river specifically, multiple rivers that would one day be home to uniworld river cruises and their floatite boutique hols. today that dream sets sail in europe, asia, india, egypt, and re. bookings available through your travel agent. for more information, visit >> additional support has been provided by rosalind p. walter, bernard and irene schwartz, sue and edgar wachenheim iii, the cheryl and philip milstein family, seton melvin, judy and oush weston, and by contributions topbs station from viewers like you. contributions topbs station from viewers like you. thank you.
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