tv Amanpour on PBS PBS March 1, 2018 6:00am-6:31am PST
welcome to "amanpour" on pbs. tonight in a last ditch gamble to end america's longest war, afghanistan proposes to recognize the taliban, it has been fighting for 16 years. i asked the former u.s. defense secretary, chuck hagel whether this gambit can work. plus, a conversation with oscar winner jennifer lawrence about her latest film "red sparrow" she tells me she too has been treated in ways in which today we would call abusive. >> i had to deal with being young or having executives, higher ups, putting their hand on their legs, not feeling look i could say "please don't do that." ♪
>> announcer: "amanpour" on pbs made possible by the generous support of rosalynn p. walter. good evening, welcome to the program. i'm christian amanpour in london. could the newest political party be the taliban, a shocking thought after 16 years of war and 10,000 killed or wounded in the last year alone. the afghanistan president has called them terrorists. but today, in a bid for peace, he made an unprecedented offer. to talk to the group without preconditions. he also offered a slew of sweeteners, the removal of sanctions, and the possibility of the taliban forming its own legitimate political party. afghan civilians are desperate for peace. is this the way to achieve it? the taliban right now have the upper hand on the ground. they control large swaths of
land. and they're consistently committing brazen acts of violence. just last month, a suicide bomber in central kabul killed 100 people. as president obama's defense secretary, chuck hagel is all too familiar with the challenges posed by afghanistan, and he joins me now, from washington. welcome to the program. >> thank you. >> so, obvious first question, what do you make of president of afghanistan's offer off to the taliban? >> it's truly the only wise course of action that the president could take. if you look at the -- dynamics and the realities that, that face afghanistan today and you noted a couple, but now, we're in our 17th year in the united states in afghanistan. only some kind of a diplomatic solution is going to break this. and i, i think, the way that --
the president of afghanistan has approached this is the right way. >> obviously begs the question as to why this is not happened in the past. it is true that, that president obama tried that. it is true that the afpac process, tried that. under president obama. but it is also true that two years ago, afghan taliban controlled only 7% of the land there. today, it is something like 17%. they're active over 70% of the country. they hold the upper hand. what, what its the government going to get? >> well, depending on how this breaks down, what the government will get, first, hopefully, in initial cease-fire. then another stage of -- of probably power sharing in order to, to bring this to some kind of peaceful conclusion. when you go through the inventory of the problems and you just noted another one.
the, the areas of afghanistan that the taliban now control, versus what they control a few years ago, but you add to that, corruption in the current government. defections in the military. record poppy production. again, i go back to the, to my point. there its no other way out of this. there is no militarily solution here. at some point the united states is going to say, enough its enough. we have never been in a war this long. and i think, gahani understands that. and this approach is the only legitimate, responsible course of action to take. >> let me play you one of the latest things president trump said about talking to the taliban. this was in the aftermath of the, i said a brazen attack. they used an ambulance to set off a suicide bomb and killed 100 civilians in the heart of kabul. listen to what president trump said after that. >> we don't want to talk to the taliban. we are going to finish what we have to finish. what nobody else has been able to finish. we are going to be able to do
it. >> so, look -- mr. secretary, you said there its no military solution, it is america's longest war. the president though, potentially, voices concerns of some amongst the military. what do you think the uniformed american military will say about this? having fought them for so long. having lost so many of their own? >> well, i can't speak for the american military. i, i can -- tell you -- when i was secretary of defense. when i was the united states senator. i was in the first congressional delegation that arrived in afghanistan. and late january, 2002, after our invasion. and, so i have been back, many, many times. either as the the united states senator, or secretary of defense. and i can tell you, it's the military of our country, who has had to bear the brunt. casualties, wounded. back and back and back. and it's like, any other conflict like this. it is complicated. it has many facets and dynamics. the military can't fix it. the military has a role in it,
of course. but only some kind of strategic, diplomatic, objective, can work our way through this. is it going to be perfect? no. but, but our situation there afghan situation is very bad. and it is getting worse. do we think, truly that we can fix this by, so-called win, in afghanistan? i was in one of those wars. in strevietnam. that we were going to win. we didn't win. you don't win these kind of things. it's up to the people, it's up to the other voices there. we can help, we can facilitate, we can be part of the process, absolutely. we need to be. we should be. i think we will be. but, but this bravado, we are going to finish the job, of the military, i don't know itch the president has the got idea of putting tens of thousands of troops, more, in afghanistan. we tried that. we are in our 17th year. things haven't worked out very well, with that course of action. >> well, so a cautionary tale. obviously if we move to syria, where there as it nothnother ma
spike, humanitarian disaster in ghouta, the syrian regime tries to pound the place into submission. america does have, boots on the ground, it does have -- uniits that it is backing, local units it is backing. i know you were pretty much a critic of president obama's not meeting the red line, and not doing more there, how do you see that ending? >> well, again -- there are different dimensions and dynamics and histories there in syria, versus afghanistan. but there are some similarities. and one of those similarities its -- is our, our option going to continue to be -- the continueddedestruction of syria and the slaughter of the syrian people, and the exiles that are fleeing, putting pressure on all of those countries, and this is a region of the world that, that is in more trouble, and more turmoil than ever in the history of the middle east. you have dysfunctional governments. you have got nonfunctioning
governments. so, how do you, how then do we, do we try to resolve this? well, 2,000 american troops in the north of syria, isn't going to fix this problem. turkey is in. russia is in. you know all the players in this. i think again, i go back to some, some strategic diplomatic objective where america can play a role in this. is it going to be perfect? no. is it going to have to include the major powers in this, but mainly, the people on the ground, who live there. they have got to be -- a part of it. this thing could go on and on and on for years and years. there will be nothing left of syria. there is, there is hardly anything left of western iraq, today. look at libya. look at yemen. its this where we all want to go? or, should we be a little, try to be smarter here. and, and come up with another approach. and i think that is the one thing that, that, is very similar to the situation in afghanistan. there its no military solution in syria. >> and very quickly we, have got about 30 seconds left.
what should president trump do to -- discuss with president putin how to resolve this in syria? >> how do we fix this? do we want to continue to rts of the world?and destroy if, if that's where you want to go, mr. putin, mr. xi or who ever the leader is, that's an option. i think we are all better than that. it doesn't work to russia's advantage to have a middle east destroyed. or certainly china, certainly not the united states. find common denominators, that's how we structured a world order after world war ii. mutual common interests. >> secretary chuck hagel, thank you so much for joining us today. of course, that world order put the united states and russia in a very clear position. so, that lead to our next segment. where they say life imitates art. and if that is true, red sparrow starring jennifer lawrence and opening this weekend in america
and around the world could hardly be more timely. here is a clip from the film. >> i'm curious, did you want me to know you are following me or are you clumsy. >> you americans always think us are so interested in you, don't you? >> what made you want to become a translator? >> if i work for the government, the state helps me take care of my uncle helped me get the job. >> your uncle is a very powerful man. >> in my country itch you don't matter to the men in power, you do not matter. >> so that's lawrence portraying viet union.arrow for the o a real-life role in a once-upon-a-time soviet program that weaponized female spies. it is a movie for our era, and she is an actress for our times. as you will hear, jennifer lawrence is outspoken on everything from abuse that she suffered, to contemporary american politics. she joined me here in the studio recently promoting the uk
release along with director francis lawrence, no relation, who directed jennifer in the "hunger games" franchise. jennifer lawrence, francis lawrence, welcome. >> thank you. >> what about this story -- part of a trilogy, first part of a trilogy in the era of putin's spies. and the last one is going to be called "the kremlin's candidate." what about this story at this time, grabbed you? >> well, what's interesting is, we started making the movie three years ago. so, we knew that it was exciting. we knew that it was unique. it was dramatic. but, was it really relevant? and then a year into making the movie, the russia election with the u.s. all of that broke. and we were like, well, it's relevant. >> yes. >> what did you think when that was happening -- "wow, we are sitting on a gold mine here?" >> i didn't. i didn't set out to make a political film in any way. i was really drawn in by the
character that jen plays. and her journey, and really drawn to isolated lonely characters on very -- lonely, very lonely, lonely journeys and i love survival stories. the character to me was a unique way into the story. a strange thing. we were in hungary at the time during the elections and to see this news breaking and to see that the movie started to feel more and more relevant. and more topical, but we still never intended on making a political film. >> no, not a political film. the plot is fictionalized. the characters are fictional. >> your character, tell me about her? >> she is a fascinating character. she is an anti-hero. an unexpected hero. she didn't ask to be put into this world and she is also not -- she is a very flawed human. she is manipulative, cunning, she is, she has, moments of rage, so i thought that this was -- it is a very unique drama because it is not really
talking, we are not, not exposing the glamorous side of, espionage. it's, it's, very brutal. and what goes behind somebody living a double life. >> and it is also very in parts highly sexualized, right? >> yes. >> i want to play what is quite a shocking clip from the movie, which really just its so raw. and then we will talk about it. >> take off your clothes. your body belongs to the state. since your birth, the state nourished it n. now the states asks for something in return. you must learn to sacrifice for a higher purpose. to push yourself beyond all limitation and forget the sentimental morality with which you were raised. >> it's pretty brutal. how did you feel doing that?
>> you know, the preemptive anxiety is so much worse than the actual reality. i had had a good year to prepare mentally for what i was going to do. because we talked about it extensively when i read the script. because i knew that there was only one way to do it. you know, we wanted to, to, we really had to go all the way. if we were going to make this movie. so i was either going to be comfortable doing the scenes or somebody else should do it. and so i had a year to mentally prepare. the worst part was the night before. i didn't sleep at all. but then when i got there, everybody is so professional and so nice and they really -- they really do an amazing job of clearing out the set, and, i was perfectly comfortable. afterwards i felt empowered. i still feel empowered. i can actually watch that scene. >> tell me what you mean by empowered? >> i had just had hey lot of insecurities when it came to -- sexuality, nudity, my body, just carrying them around for years. and i thought, you know, when i read the script. i loved it so much.
i thought if i don't do it, and if i say no i miss out on a chance of working with frances and doing this movie that i love, almost look all of the insecurities and fears win. and so i felt i got something back. >> and when you were doing this, and you know, as you, finished the film. etc. i assume it was before the metoo move, before the revelation started in october. you weren't talking about, wasn't part of the conversation at the time? >> no, it wasn't, i feel like this is a perfect movie that we need right now. with the test screenings with women and for me, i find it empowering and also opens up the conversation in the difference between consent and not consent. i had a choice, i am an adult. i made a decision, i knew what i was doing. and that's, that's really the end of the story. the two aren't comparable. so it's important to open up that conversation. >> i just wonder because in the
research i have been reading some of the issues that you brought up in the past. and you mention that, one of your early experiences with a female producer, i think it was, almost identical to this. tell me that story. >> yeah, i had, had a hard experience on a movie where basically the prou decembereduc trying to illustrate to me i was overweight, but i wasn't. a part of that was having me doing a lineup with women who were much thinner than i was. and, you know, we had, we had, covering our private parts. we were essentially naked. i was told to use the photos as motivation for my diet. so it was -- dehumanizing in a different way. i didn't feel it was -- it was more, i don't know, mentally brutal. >> that was a woman? >> yeah, a woman. >> i saw your face when she was
in the story, you probably heard it many, many times. it is extra ordinary when you thing that kind of conversation can still be happening. >> yeah. >> that people in your position can actually still do that to people like jennifer. >> well hopefully that will change now. that's the great thing about people coming out and telling their story. i think there will be great change. but what i think it shows, one of the reasons we made the movie is these things have been happening for a very long time. and so those ideas, the ideas in our movie are not new. i think what's new is the bravery of the people coming out and speaking about it. and the movement, and the movement she is involved in to make change. >> yeah, creating a society that is supporting people who are coming forward. 97% of sexual abuse allegations are true. there is a 3% that isn't. and, i feel, over the past, we have focused on the 3%. it's been so easy to say she is lying we create
commune thee whe community, survivors can come forward and talk. >> are you a survivor, a me tooer? >> when i hear the harrowing stories of victims of harvey weinstein. i don't right putting myself in that exact category. i was certainly mistreated. treated in a way now we wouldab having higher ups, kpek tif s e putting their hands on my legs, not being able to say, please don't do that. no, i don't know. >> but as you say, both of you. the floodgates hatch beve been now. you can talk about almost anything. the extremes of sexual abuse and harassment and the kind of things young girls are going to be looking at, looking towards you. you are the millenial icon. they're going to hear this story about how you were shamed when you were perfectly beautiful woman into, somebody making you have a diet.
what would you say to the young girls who listen to you, all of the time, and the young men, who hang on your every word? >> i mean, you have to know who you are, you have to know your worth. you have how to know what's worth it and what isn't? i mean if you are doing a physical role, when i was doing the hunger games. i did a lot of training. i've really physical role. i had to be in good shape. the difference between being in shape for a movie, and, being mentally abused, and told that you are fat, a lot of people lose weight for movies, gain weight for movies. that's okay. very different thing than shaming, basically a teenager, into lose weight. when we were doing "the hunger games" it's not like we told any yeah, in fact, josh lose hutcherson had to lose weight. he had been starved in the movie. i didn't want him to be unhealthy. i would never ask that of somebody. >> i wonder what you think, people like you, all of the men
in hollywood, can really help change this. obviously not just the women. it has to be the men. where do you think it should start in hollywood? >> wow, i think it can start on a lot of fronts. as somebody that employs people, creating the safest environments possible. i always fry to d do that. i will continue to do that. i would encourage people to do that. so people feel respected and safe and comfortable and can enjoy their work as they should. one is to continue to tell stories about women. i think one is to hire women in front of and behind the cameras as much as possible. and, so that there can be a collaboration in terms of point of view, in story telling. i would also say, sorry, that i think we also need more female executives. out there in the world. that are, you know calling the shots. and hiring people like me, or hiring other, you know, female directors. i felt very lucky. i mean, the chairman of our studio is a woman. the president of the studio is a
woman. crete y creative executive is a woman. >> she is a woman. i am a woman. >> that's really rare. >> you were, splashed all over the headlines a few years ago for another sort of moment of activism. when, it was shown, with the sony hack, that you were not paid equally to your male co-stars. in "american hustle." has time changed that. are you now satisfied you are fairly and equally paid as a woman? >> it is something i am still diligent about. i think i look for full transparency in all of my negotiations. i think a few years ago, i think when i wrote that essay it was more about my mentality because this is, this is an issue, my problems aren't necessarily relatable to everybody. but it is pay inequity is an issue across the globe. i was more interested in, in my own mind set of why i didn't thing i deserved to be paid
equally. at that point, i won an academy award, led movies to be number one at the box office. why i thought i didn't deserve off to be paid equally as the men or didn't think it was possible. of course i asked, i pushed. i didn't want to push too far. and, i think a lot of that has the to do with opportunity. if, if women or people of color don't have the same opportunity as white men, then, it's harder for them to walk away from a job. easier for them to just, take a role. and, we lose the negotiating power. >> clarify for us, are you taking a year off? are you taking a year out? there is some chatter in, atmosphere that you are retiring for a year? is that true? >> no, no, no. i won't be on a set for a year. i still have a lot of things in development. and probably not for me. i have been in two franchises. i won't be on set for a year fr. i have projects in development. foe causie focusing, traveling, around,
trying to get young people engaged politically on a local level. >> what exactly is it. is it democracy? is it women's rights? >> they fall under the same umbrella. the more i started to educate myself on, on our country and on our democracy, the more i learned that everything that i care about from pollution to public health care to public education, immigration, it all falls under the umbrella of corruption. nothing can really change in our country if .1% can buy off votes. we elect officials into office. they're immediately fund-raising working for the people who got them there, who aren't the american people. trying to find ways that, that we can create fund-raising for campaigns, that don't just come from a very small part of america. because without that, then we are not going to have a full democracy. i think that young people are, are the answer. >> you both must have been
heartbroken but also incredibly impressed by the number of young people who have actually been mobilized by the shooting in florida. that must be incredibly -- heartening. >> and they're educating them self. that's the greatest power that they can give. because you know right now so many lawmakers are in the pocket of the nra that it doesn't matter that we don't feel safe as american citizens and children don't feel safe going to school. laws won't change because of the way our, our government is built. so this, these children doing this, and, taking a stand, this is the only way that real change is going to happen in the country. >> let's talk again about red sparrow that will come out. about patriotism. about patriotism. loyalty off to the state. how do you feel about that message today and given our political situation? >> i think that what, what spies do with the cia, what the fbi does is selfless. and it, it's patriotic. i think they, they, risk their
lives for our country. and a lot of, and most of them go their entire lives without being known even after they're dead people don't know what they have done for the country. it's very selfless. my character specific story is, is she is forced into a situation where she has to decide between caring for her ailing mother and her allegiance to her country. >> or an allegiance to herself? >> that's the thought of the movie. >> that's the question. you have talked to a lot of cia people. you have done a lot of research. did you ever find evidence of a cia-led red sparrow program? >> what's interesting. i heard a story, a real program existed in russia in the 60s and 70s. not sure it exists now. but i heard stories that the americans had tried a sparrow school of their own. it didn't work. because of the eastern european views on sex were very, very
di different. they were much harder to black maim. whi -- blackmail. very amusing. there is a sort of puritanical about the americans -- no, my family can't know, the russians, russians didn't really care. >> jennifer lawrence. frances lawrence. thank you for joining us. >> thank you. >> thank you. >> red sparrow opens this weekend. that's it for our program tonight. thank you for watching "amanpour" on pbs. and join us again tomorrow night. ♪ ♪ >> announcer: "amanpour" on pbs was made possible by the generous support of rosalynn p. walter. ♪ walter. ♪ >> announcer: you are watc