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U.K. Prime Minister Sorry For "Partygate" As Report Slams Leadership Failures; Activist: Biden Supreme Court Pick Can "Lift" Black Voters; Jamie Dornan On Why A Screening Of "Belfast" Left Him "Physically Sick With Nerves"; Interview With "Missing In Brooks County" Co-Director & Producer Jeff Bemiss; Interview With South Texas Human Rights Center Founder Eddie Canales. Aired 1-2p ET
Aired January 31, 2022 - 13:00:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN INTERNATIONAL HOST: Hello everyone and welcome to AMANPOUR. Here's what's coming up.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BORIS JOHNSON, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: I'm sorry for the things we simply didn't get right and also sorry for the way that this matter has been
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: The long-awaited reports into Boris Johnson's party gates scandal finds failures of leadership, the latest and what it might mean as Johnson
heads to Ukraine. Is this a desperate ploy to avoid war or the mounting crisis at home?
Then Biden than the black vote, is the President losing support from some of his most stalwart allies?
And actor Jamie Dornan joins us on his Oscar tip film "Belfast." Also ahead.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It is harsh, it is deadly and people are suffering and people are dying.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: Missing in Brooks County. The new documentary exposing a horrifying truth about America's southern border. Hari Sreenivasan talks to
the co-director and a subject of the film.
Welcome to the program, everyone. I'm Christiane Amanpour in London. Party gate is coming home to roost now for British Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
The initial findings of a report into booze fueled social gatherings at number 10 Downing Street, while the rest of the UK was under lockdown paint
an ugly picture.
The results are far more damning than anticipated. The author of the report top civil servants Sue Gray, denouncing a failure of leadership, excessive
alcohol consumption and the culture of fear among staff who felt they could not be heard to complain.
Gray writing that when the government was asking citizens to accept far reaching restrictions on their lives, some of the behavior surrounding
these gatherings is difficult to justify. Here's what Johnson said to Parliament right after that report.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOHNSON: This pandemic was hard for everyone. We asked people across this country to make the most extraordinary sacrifices, not to meet loved ones,
not to visit relatives before they died. And I understand the anger that people feel. But Mr. Speaker, it isn't enough to say sorry. This is a
moment when must look at ourselves in the mirror. And we must learn.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: Meantime, Johnson says he's off to Ukraine tomorrow, while his poll numbers at home sink to record lows. And more than 60 percent of the
British public says that he doesn't have what it takes to be a good Prime Minister. Rory Stewart served as a Conservative Member of Parliament and as
a cabinet minister. He's now Senior Fellow at Yale University's Jackson Institute for Global Affairs. And he's joining us from Amman, Jordan, where
he's assisting with Syrian refugees.
Rory Stewart, there's never really been much love lost on policy between you and Boris Johnson. And I just wonder what you make of the initial
findings and the initial, you know, frankly, conclusions that seem very damning?
RORY STEWART, FORMER BRITISH CONSERVATIVE MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT: Well, they are very damning. I mean, Sue Gray is a very senior British civil servant.
And she's being very cautious in what she says partly because there's a police investigation coming. Nevertheless, she is absolutely explicit in
this short section report so far released, that she feels that quite clearly, people have failed to live up to the standards that we expect the
government and in fact, she actually says, fail to live up to the basic standards that we expected of the general public.
And the basic thing which is quite difficult to find to explain internationally in the U.S. and elsewhere is to understand that the Boris
Johnson imposed very, very rigorous draconian restrictions in Britain, which basically meant people were unable to leave their houses.
And in this case, at the moment when other people aren't able to leave their houses no less than 12 separate parties and events were being held in
Downing Street over year period, all of which now being investigated by the Metropolitan Police.
AMANPOUR: Yes, Rory, they said actually, lately -- their latest from the Met is that they're going to be investing at least eight of those and that
they have some 300 photos and 500 pieces of written or whatever typed out information like pages of evidence. That seems like a huge amount.
I just want to read you a couple more of the highlights of this of this report. Sue Gray finding, the excessive consumption of alcohol is not
appropriate in a professional workplace at any time, and some staff wanted to raise concerns about behaviors, they witnessed a work, but at times felt
unable to do so.
No member of staff should feel unable to report or challenge poor conduct where they witness it.
Now, what does it say not just about Boris Johnson's government, his Downing Street and the culture he fosters. But what might be his future?
What does the rest of the party do you think? What are they going to do about this?
STEWART: Well, this is the question we're getting into a very strange stage in British politics. And it's similar to the problems that we've had with
other leaders elsewhere in the world. Boris Johnson actually gave her famous interview, which has been replayed quite a lot recently, in which he
says that one of his strategies is to pile scandal on scandal so that everybody is exhausted and bewildered, and the media can barely tell the
difference between one scandal and another.
So his best hope is that people are just exhausted. We can barely remember now the number of lies and scandals. There are probably been a dozen things
over the last two years, which would have led any normal Prime Minister to resign scandals about people paying for his wallpaper, scandals about
saying he wouldn't pro parliament and then breaking parliament, scandals about lying about African evacuations, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera.
But his best hope of survival is a combination of people somehow pricing in or getting so bewildered by all this stuff that can't keep up and a sense
from his party that they may still think that he can win. And that's where the poll numbers are so worrying for him. The party begins to sense that
he's going to lose some their seats in the next election. He's really finished.
AMANPOUR: So you used to be a minister in the, you know, in the previous government, David Cameron's, sorry, Theresa May, I think, anyway, you can
correct me, but you are a cabinet minister. And you've written about the culture within Conservative Party leadership right now.
You say that it is more about the polls and the headlines, and the majority in parliament than it is about governing. And you also say and so to some
others, that even though the Conservative Party knew Boris Johnson all his foibles before he became prime minister, the size of the margin of victory
that he -- that he delivered was more important to them.
STEWART: That's absolutely right. So obviously, I ran against him to be Prime Minister. And it was a very interesting competition, I would say to
people, because the initial vote is made by the members of parliament who know him very well. So I'd say we can't possibly, you can't possibly vote
for this man. We all know him. We know that he was a bad Foreign Secretary that he is not interested in detail that he governs very badly. And the
answer was always, yes, we know that, that he's very popular, and he's going to win a civic majority.
And I think that is a very, very dangerous thing to happen to country. Because one of the fundamental principles, obviously, of democracy is a
healthy balance between, yes, of course, getting the popular support, but also when you're in office, having a sense of seriousness, having a sense
of responsibility, actually caring about the issues and doing the right thing.
And I think we're not just saying this in Britain, it's true in the United States as well. There is an extraordinary tension now emerging, where
political figures are beginning to emerge. And Boris Johnson is perhaps one of the most dramatic recent examples, who are extraordinary celebrities,
extraordinary at marketing. Boris Johnson was the most famous person in British politics because he had a television show and on the back of this.
People seem not to care about the fact but his record in government is very poor. He doesn't seem to think seriously about his views and the culture
that you see in Downing Street. These drink parties breaking lockdown, of course, all comes from the top. It's his style of leadership meant that
everybody working in his private office didn't care because they thought he didn't care.
AMANPOUR: Let me play again, what he said to Parliament today.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOHNSON: Mr. Speaker, I get it, and I will fix it. And I want to say to the people of this country, I know what the issue is. Yes, Mr. Speaker. Yes.
Yes, it's whether this government can be trusted to deliver. And I say Mr. Speaker, yes, we can be trusted. Yes, we can be trusted to deliver.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: So Rory Stewart, again, you were a Remainer. He was a Brexiter. And he has, you know, won a huge election, based on that very promise that
he did deliver Brexit and he did get it done. And I'm wondering what you make of that, and particularly, I guess, to frame it in this way, what
happens to a potentially mortally wounded leader, even if he doesn't resign or he hangs on for a few more months.
What happens to very serious issues like, for instance, tomorrow, he's going to Ukraine in the midst of this crisis. What does that mean do you
think in terms of leadership?
STEWART: It's faithful, because of course, the British system is very centralized so much depends on the prime minister. And in the end, that's
about legitimacy. The civil service and everybody get behind policies where they think there is conviction that seriousness, and somebody's strong, you
can feel it in every government department, I felt this as a minister and for different departments.
It's all the difference in the world between somebody who seems to have the confidence of the government who seems to know what they're doing. And
somebody like Boris Johnson at the moment, who feels as though he could be toppled at any moment, he can barely focus. It's entirely chaotic.
Nobody knows what he's up to. Everything is being spun out as press releases. Very, very clear that almost everything that he's doing, and I'm
afraid this extends even to his foreign policy is being driven at the moment by trying to distract people from the fact that the Metropolitan
Police is investigating parties in his own apartment.
So, all of this means that the government is going to be weak. And this is bad for Britain. It's not going to help us deal with the European Union and
resolve the Northern Ireland crisis. It's not going to help us deal with the fact that we've got one of the largest deficits in peacetime history.
And it's not going to allow us to be able to navigate our way through what it means to be a country outside the European Union.
AMANPOUR: Rory Stewart, you know, a lot of, I mean you're in in Syria, sorry, you're in Jordan right now dealing with Syrian refugees, as part of
his sort of, they call it a red meat strategy throughout all these policies to try to just deflect from this party gate crisis. One was a draconian new
interdiction of refugees and asylum seekers that he had to walk back. So you're very familiar that. You're also very familiar with Afghanistan.
And in the summer, when all of this stuff was roiling, we had, you know, knowledge because of the whistleblower, that the government officials
concerned with Afghanistan were absent, were AWOL. And that this, what -- do you ascribe that to this also just a general government's inability to
deal with these very serious foreign policy issues other than Brexit?
STEWART: I think a large part of this as leadership. I'm afraid, you know, the famous cliche, the fish rots from its head. If the Prime Minister does
not communicate that he cares, and he didn't care, and in famously, he was running a government, where the foreign secretary and the Permatex (ph)
Foreign Office on holiday, while all of this Afghan crisis was happening.
He was the Foreign Secretary himself. And I worked for him. I was his deputy. And I saw that he could not focus on any detail. So, all of this
phenomenon, everything that you're talking about the fact that British staff did not do what they were supposed to do during the evacuation, the
fact that nobody seemed to have properly thought through how to deal with President Biden's decision on leaving Afghanistan the fact that the
government in Britain has announced a policy of taking in Afghan human rights refugees, and has apparently gone nowhere with that policy.
Months later, there are female judges at threat from the Taliban who cannot get to Britain. Because the promises that were made in Parliament haven't
been followed through on all of this, all of this chaos, reflects an absence of character, weak moral character is faithful for governing well.
And there's no work clearer than in Britain today.
AMANPOUR: So as a conservative, and this is the final question, what do you in your gut think is going to happen? What are the next steps?
STEWART: I think the two things that people have to watch very carefully, clearly at the moment, he doesn't want to resign. He is somebody who has
lied and been fired and just kept going through his life. And it's almost impossible to imagine anything now that would make him resign.
But the two things that would lead the Conservative Party to move against him, the first thing to watch is what this metropolitan police report says.
And the second thing is, of course, the May elections there are going to be local elections in Britain in May, if the Conservative MPs feel their
popularity is really going down and that this man is not just an incompetent buffoon and a liar, but also somebody who's going to lose an
election is finished.
AMANPOUR: Interestingly, of course, as we know, not so many weeks ago, they lost a key by election. So it's a very interesting moment. Rory Stewart,
former MP, former Conservative Party, Minister, thank you indeed for joining us.
Now, in the United States, President Joe Biden seems to be struggling with his base. He has vowed to name a black woman to the Supreme Court, keeping
up with promised to African Americans but inflation and stalled voting rights legislation are both taking a toll on the very group credited with
putting him into the White House.
So is this a passing storm or something that Biden and the Democrats need to fear ahead of the next elections? Joining me now is LaTosha Brown,
political strategist and co-founder of Black Voters Matter. LaTosha Brown, welcome to the program. So, answer me that first question that I posited a
passing storm or a fundamental problem with a major group of supporters in a major voting bloc.
LATOSHA BROWN, CO-FOUNDER, BLACK VOTERS MATTER: Yes, I think it's even deeper than that. I think we have a fundamental issue and a crisis of
democracy in this nation. You know, and in fairness to Biden, and I've been critical of him, particularly on this hammer on the voting rights, fairness
to him, you know, he inherited a government that was functionally broken in many ways, with the Department of Education, most of the major departments,
the previous administration had left it in disarray.
When you look at the Postal Service, when you look at the issues that we had, where the Department of Justice was actually forming -- performing, in
many ways, like it was the personal legal firm for the former president. And so I do think that there was a lot that he was able to do to at least
being able to stabilize the federal government.
In addition to that, I think there was some things that he did that were positive, around the Child Tax Credit, around getting the infrastructure
plan passed, you know, those things that he put forward. You know, the challenge, and he's done a remarkable job, really, in terms of the lower
courts, his appointments of the lower courts, that the Supreme Court -- that are under the Supreme Court, you know, have actually been very, very
progressive and very, he's been very judicious in that, you know, probably some of the best appointments I've seen since President Carter.
And so, I'm raising that because I think that there were major things that he's done. And then there have been challenges that I think that we have
been saying, those of us who are political strategies and are doing work on the ground, where people are increasingly becoming frustrated, particularly
black voters, that there were core issues that black voters cared about in the US.
Now the three-core issues that we would hear over and over again, was the issue around criminal justice reform that, as you remote -- can recall, and
people can recall in 2020, we have the largest uprising for the George Floyd murder, right. And as a result of that, there was a clarion call by
the African American voters that we want a criminal justice reform. We've not seen that as yet. The President still says that he's committed to that.
But that is still out there. And it has not been resolved.
We also have a major issue around voting rights. What we saw an election in 2020, where there was a historic turnout, where black voters came out, and
were actually a major drivers in what in the election result. And then when you look at places like Georgia, which I'm a resident in, you know, we were
able to actually beat (ph) state made a major change and being able to bring two Democratic senators in.
You know, and so as -- but as a result, there has been a backlash of voter suppression laws all across the country. We've seen it pass in 18 states,
you know, and has been introduced in over 28 states, throughout the nation, you know, and so all those things he has not been able to have any movement
on, which is why I think at this juncture, you know, I still think there's a clarent (ph) call. And there's a frustration that is growing in the
African American community around those two issues. And then the third issue around closing the gap to economic inequities.
And I think that he does have an opportunity with this judicial appointment to have the ability to appoint not just a black woman to the Supreme Court.
But really, this is a moment that we needed, Thurgood Marshall, this is a moment that we need the voice that is faced on the court that will actually
be a small, stalwart voice for voting rights and civil rights in this guy.
AMANPOUR: So I was going to ask you that question, because he has made a promise. And, you know, he said that he would do that. And that seems to be
what's going to happen that he will appoint the most qualified African American woman to the Supreme Court.
But do you think that that is enough to give him a necessary lift? And let me just, you know, the polls suggest the latest one that only six in 10
black Americans say they approve of the President, down from nine in 10 at the beginning of his presidency. You laid out a lot of the issues. But do
you think he could get a good bump from his appointment to the Supreme Court first?
BROWN: I think it depends on who he appoints.
BROWN: If he appoints someone that is going to be a safe appointment for the appeasement of Republicans or the moderates, I don't think that that
would have an impact. I think a critical issue, number one issue in our community is around attacks that were -- on voting rights attacks and the
voter suppression right now.
If he picked someone, if he makes a bold pick, you know, and pick someone that literally is going to be a bold voice around voting rights in this
country, I do think that it can be a significant choice for him because that person can set the tone and the tenor of the Supreme Court while we
know that the Republicans judges, Justices in the country on the Supreme Court have an advantage.
What we want is what we want to see if we want to make sure that because we don't have the legislation right now, we're boxy and we're going to I have
to have some more support on the courts. And I do believe he has an opportunity to actually get some lift and his like ability within the
AMANPOUR: OK, so on that issue of voting rights, and they've tried to do reform, but as you know better than I do, it's been stymied because of the
makeup of Congress, and also because of the opposition to the whole filibuster reform for members of his own party. But here's one view from
one black voter, he's 73 years old. He's a professor.
And it's George Hart, who says, I'm perplexed. At some points I'm angry, I'm just so disillusion Biden let so much happened from the time he became
President, to the time that he actually introduced the measure, it was lost. And we are the ones African Americans, black voters who are going to
pay the penalties.
And then I spoke to just earlier this month to, you know, the great Jim Clyburn, the House Whip, who has been so responsible for so much movement.
And also, of course, for so much important backing of President Biden. Here's what he told me about this very issue on voting rights.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. JIM CLYBUR (D-SC): Today, people look back and they look at voting, which did not come into '65. And housing did not come into '68. And all of
that is because people did not give up. And he may not get what we need to keep this democracy afloat, tomorrow or the next day, but we are going to
keep pressing forward.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: So he's talking about the long game, LaTosha, do you buy into that?
BROWN: No, I think that we certainly I agree with the premise that we've got to continue to fight. But I do think that the frustration is rooted in
the fact that we were -- there were many voting rights activists like myself, that were wishing that the President had used the full weight of
his office of where he is now, earlier, that earlier to use that right after the election where there was the momentum behind this campaign.
And right after the election in January, even 6, that at that moment that what we saw is the insurrection. And there was a lot of anger, and a lot of
frustration, I think on both sides that actually could have been a momentum for him as well. And we felt that he should have led from that space.
But here we are now. The truth of the matter is he has made -- I do believe that he has -- he -- I think that he is now acknowledging that there has
been a shift, many of us have been saying there has been a shift in the political paradigm in this country. We have to recognize that democracy is
under attack, that anytime voters are attacked because of who they voted for, or how they voted, that is the beginning of a demise of a democracy
and that we have to make that a priority.
I do believe that he's he and his administration. And I think his own account that he said in the speech in in Georgia, that he had been silent
for too long. I do believe that there is a change in the tone coming from the White House to actually make that a priority. What we've got to see is
we've actually got to see some bold actions. That's why I believe that this for the Supreme Court is going to be critical.
AMANPOUR: So LaTosha Brown, you mentioned the speech in Georgia, and it was a big speech. And as you say, you know, he admitted that he perhaps needed
to have made that kind of bold public statement earlier. But you didn't go to that. I don't know whether the word boycott is the correct word to use.
But neither you nor your organization, Black Voters Matter. Nor people like Stacey Abrams, and other very important black activists attend -- didn't
attend. So I'm wondering whether that's a permanent disaffection, or whether you will, or I mean, I guess you will get out to try to get out the
vote for the midterms. What's it going to be like trying to get out the black vote for the midterms?
BROWN: Now is going to be extremely challenging is what we raised. What we're seeing is we're seeing attacks on the local level, on the state
level. And then now we have not the protection on the federal level. We've been saying from day one that we can't organize this and part of us not
going it wasn't a boycott.
You know, it wasn't to actually hurt the administration, it was a send a message of how serious we felt this voting rights issue is. And that at the
end of the day, that is almost like you're fighting upstream, that is going to be extremely difficult and challenging, because people are frustrated.
They're frustrated that many of the things that were promised early on have not been delivered.
But we also, let me say this, we're also I think politically astute enough to know that this is part of the Republicans plan. At the end of the day,
who is ultimately responsible for this have been the Republicans. They have been obstructionist. They have literally been working at every single level
to make sure that they're marginalized voters in this country, that they're unraveling democracy, that they're literally basing everything on this big
lie that President Trump actually led and coming out of that place and showing a lack of courage.
And so those of us that really are part of the process, there's a frustration with the Biden administration. But the truth of the matter is,
this problem has been created by the Republicans and their attempt to continue to be obstructionist on every single issue. The fact that even
when we look at the voting rights -- the voting rights legislation that were 16 Republicans that -- had voted for in previous have voted for the
reauthorization of the Voting Rights Act.
So what has changed between that time and now that they're not supporting voting rights, we think that is a lack of courage that the party has
actually imploded. And now it's decided that is going to be the party of division of racism, and up fundamentally is going to be anti-democratic.
AMANPOUR: Really interesting, and we're going to pursue that obviously trying to get Republicans to talk about this. Very interesting. You might
have noted, of course, the Republican governor of New Hampshire saying that he would not run for Senate as you may know, New Hampshire Chris Sununu,
because he just did not want to be a Republican, you know, roadblock for getting nothing done.
LaTosha Brown, thank you so much indeed for joining us.
And now for a foray into Northern Ireland 1969 as the troubles were just kicking off, it was a tumultuous time and it's captured in the acclaimed
new film "Belfast." It's a love letter to the city where the director Kenneth Branagh grew up. It's gotten a huge amount of Oscar buzz
nominations are announced next week. Here is some of the trailer.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Kids the same age as ours are getting killed. We can give these boys a better chance than we ever had.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I know nothing else but Belfast.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Go now. Don't look back.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: And joining me now is one of the film stars Jamie Dornan. Jamie, you're -- you are a, you know, cast member with greats like Judi Dench,
Ciaran Hinds, you know, you've got the little boy Buddy, who was a scene stealer. How did you approach the role? And how much did you enjoy playing
pa, the father in this movie?
JAMIE DORNAN, ACTOR, "BELFAST": Yes, it was incredible. You know, when Ken first sent me the script, it was only Judi Dench attached at that point. So
I'm thinking like, I don't even really need to like the script. Like if I'm going to have the chance to have Judi Dench play my mother, I'm in anyway.
And then he round out the cast of these incredible people. As you mentioned, Caitriona Balfe, Ciaran Hinds.
But the little boy, Jude Hill is his name. The movie sort of hangs on him. And we see the whole movies from his perspective. Seeing the whole -- his
whole world change around him from the perspective of a nine-year-old boy. So if it doesn't work with him, the movie doesn't work. But luckily we find
this or can find this incredible kid.
AMANPOUR: Are you amazed? I mean, here's a black and white film some have said, you know looks very much like Alfonso Cuaron's Roma in terms of
autobiographical, at least semi-black and white, really personal story. Have you been amazed by how it's resonated, particularly with the critics
with the Oscar buzz, the you know, all of that?
DORNAN: Yes, it's not what you do. You know, you put everything in every job you do, and try to get the most out of it on the day to day and have
fun and create something special, but whatever the response is, you know, totally out of your hands. So to have something that is I'm from Belfast,
like it's a tiny place that a tiny island, a lot of people despite, you know, dominating much of the world news for, you know, 30 year conflict.
People don't really have a great understanding of the place of the people or what went on.
And that's not an ignorance. It's just -- they just don't know and so to tell a story about such a small place, unfortunate resonate the way it has,
it's incredible. It's not what you expect, you know, yes, critically to be have the praise we have brilliant for so many people to love it but also
for to resonate personally to so many people from very far away from Belfast, that's special, a lot of special without people coming up after
screenings from Haiti, to Ghana, to Spain, saying that's my story. That's rare. That doesn't happen very often. So that's been a lovely thing that
it's resonated with so many people.
AMANPOUR: And what about the screenings in Belfast? I read that you were the most anxious about that, because it was about them and about their
DORNAN: Yes, listen, I'm one of those people and I can't tell you how much it matters to tell a different story from Belfast. We've seen brilliant
movie set in Northern Ireland before. We'll see many more great movies set there that are from a more politicized lands or sectarian tribal lands,
religious, very one sided religiously.
We've never seen this. We've never seen a normal hard work and working class family from Belfast who didn't ask for any of this something fell
upon their door and change their lives forever, that they wasn't brought on by something that they wanted. And that speaks to most people from that
part of the world.
And that story hasn't been told and it's so vital and necessary that it is told and I think that's why it's so important for people from home.
So, as a result, that night that we had on the 4th of November, 2021, I'll never forgot it, showing the people of Belfast the movie, by 1,400 people
in the Waterfront Hall. And it's just a palpable sense of appreciation from people in the room that that story has been hold in that way and it
humanizes people from home. It doesn't go all out.
I imagine everyone from there is very much one-sided or they think this way or they think that way and there's deep division. There, of course, is deep
division. There's continually deep division even though 24 years after peace. So, it's an important message. And so, the importance of that on
that night, yes, it got to me, and I felt physically sick and with nerves. But I felt unbelievable afterwards and the response was so positive.
AMANPOUR: Oh, yes. So, let's play a little clip. This is a part of the film where things you can see. It's, as I said, at the beginning. This is not
the full-fledged troubles. This is the full-fledged but it's at the beginning of this -- you know, of the troubles in Northern Ireland. And
this little clip is where you, Pa, are discussing with your wife, Ma, about moving, about getting out with your children. So, let's just play this -- a
little bit of this clip.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DORNAN: The boss has been in touch. They want me to stay on, a permanent job in England. They want me to move into management. It's more money.
There's a house that goes with it. We get it rent-free with a chance to own it if things go well, a wee bit bigger than what we have here, a room for
each of the boys. There will be a garden too.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Are you allowed to play football in that garden, daddy?
DORNAN: Aye, son. If I say yes, there's more straight away. We could start getting the (INAUDIBLE) like. This family is not going to get another
chance like that in this time, not now.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: It really shows the closeness of the family and the care and that you're trying to put into, you know, keeping them safe. And, again, it's
not a really wartime movie, it's really like a love story. It's just a very important story of community and family in one particular neighborhood.
I wonder whether you -- when you were growing up in Northern Ireland, did you -- did you identify as a certain religion or certain politic? Did that
ever come into it? And how did that translate when you were playing this role?
DORNAN: Yes. I mean, I was lucky. Well, a couple of things there. I'm from a much more middle-class background than Ken was. I've never shied away
from that. But if you're from that place, you cannot be affected by the difficulties of being from that place no matter what the situation is and
the complexities of it.
I'm also was brought up agnostic, which can be quite useful if you're somewhere where your very religion is what divides you from your neighbor.
You know, kept up -- while my grandparents were still alive, kept up some idea that, you know, just to please them because they were very religious
presbyterian protestants, that we would still -- I think I was brought to church until to (INAUDIBLE) and then, when my grandparents passed away, we
sort of dropped out and was never part of it, was never really taught to about again in our lives.
And I was also -- I went to a secondary school, it was mixed Catholic/Protestant, which was fairly rare in Northern Ireland, even more
rare in primary schools, which is a really shocking statistic in Belfast now and then, all of Northern Ireland now, in 2022, less than 7 percent of
primary schools age four to 11 are integrated. So, we're dividing now, today, dividing kids at the age of four based on their parents' religion.
DORNAN: There's absolutely no way of healing, of getting things back to some sort of normal place or something recognizable as normal from the
outside world until we deal with that and we --
AMANPOUR: And that's why the role of Buddy was just so poignant because you could tell that he was a little boy who just wanted to be friends with
everyone and who cared about religion, and that was really sweet and effective.
But can I ask you, look, you know, so many people will know you as the main character, Christopher Grey, in "Fifty Shades of Grey" and a lot has been
written, you know, the massive departure of this film from that. Did that film sort of follow you around, you know, that -- I guess it was a trilogy?
Did you feel that you had to, I mean, for want of a better word, break out of that, prove something, make sure that, you know, you had a career as a
different kind of actor as well as playing that kind of role?
DORNAN: A wee bit. I don't know. Like, I've been lucky in the last, you know, it's, you know, eight years since I got that role. I've done a ton of
work in that time that is a million miles away from it. So, you know, I think if you do some of this as -- that has as much attention on it as
those books did, as those films did, there will be people who will always maybe just see you as that thing.
But, you know, as an actor, you know, I just see that as any other role and you'd move onto the next thing and, you know, you go again. So, you know,
there's -- yes, there's going to be potentially people who see me as that no matter what goes on, but I've never tried to prove anything.
AMANPOUR: Sorry. "The Tourist," which is just -- is the latest that we get to see is an amazing thriller that's on the BBC. It's wrapping, but it's
just amazing. That must have been really fun and quite difficult to play. I mean, there's a lot of hardship that you go through, your character goes
DORNAN: Yes. That was the -- it was the biggest challenge of my life, I think. You know, professionally, "The Tourist," I was dealing with a lot of
personal stuff at the beginning of it. And I lost my father 10 days before we started shooting. And then, I was in Australia for five months, had my
family right there, and it was the most grueling schedule I've ever worked. And physically, a very demanding role and emotionally, mentality what the
character goes through.
So, yes. Well, I like a challenge. I always have. And so, if part that have challenge is trying to prove people based on what you were saying before,
then I'm up for that.
DORNAN: So, I think that's -- I also think like what I love the most about being an actor is a variety of it and getting to, you know, switch it up
all the time and challenge yourself.
DORNAN: So, definitely like that.
AMANPOUR: Well, congratulation, and also, condolences on the loss of your father. Jamie Dornan, thank you very much indeed for being with us.
DORNAN: Thank you.
AMANPOUR: And turning to a new documentary now that's exposing harsh realities on the U.S.-Mexico border. "Missing in Brooks County" focuses on
the Texas town where thousands of migrants are missing, presumed dead. Award-winning director, Jeff Bemiss, and activist, Eddie Canales, join
Harry Sreenivasan to discuss the growing humanitarian crisis.
(BEGIN VIDEO TAPE)
HARI SREENIVASAN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Thanks so much. Jeff Bemiss, Eddie Canales, thanks for joining us.
Eddie, I want to start with you. What does your organization do, the Center -- the South Texas Center for Human Rights? What kind of work do you do on
a daily basis?
EDDIE CANALES, FOUNDER, SOUTH TEXAS HUMAN RIGHTS CENTER: The South Texas Human Rights Center, we feel calls that -- from families, from Central
America, from Mexico, from the United States of their loved ones that have crossed the border and have gone missing. So, we facilitate some rescues,
some recoveries, everything that deals with a missing person and how they can -- you know, how we can help them facilitate the process to locate that
And then, if somebody, you know, also has already perished and they are aware of that, we explain the whole process that they have to go through.
This past year in Brooks County, there was 119 bodies and skeletal remains recovered in Brooks County alone. You know, so, that's a -- that in itself,
you know, it gives you a sense of the humanitarian crisis that we're dealing with on a day-to-day basis.
And, of course, we have water stations that are out there, you know, to try to save lives and mitigate the fact that, you know, people are suffering
out there. You know, whether it's cold or super-hot during the summer, we're constantly, you know, servicing those water stations.
SREENIVASAN: Jeff, Eddie just said that had a number that, I think, would be startling for anybody, that 119 bodies were found in Brooks County just
last year alone. Give us a sense of the scale of how bad this problem is.
JEFF BEMISS, CO-DIRECTOR AND PRODUCER, "MISSING IN BROOKS COUNTY": Right. The sheriff of Brooks County, Benny Martinez, I mean, he believes that for
every one individual that's recovered, there's five that they do not find. One of the reasons is that these tracks of land, these private ranches out
in South Texas are so vast. I mean, you know, the King Ranch, for instance, is bigger than Rhode Island. So, a lot of individuals are never found.
I think for Lisa Molimot, the co-director and I, it was really shocking to learn that we may be talking about 20,000 individuals since the advent of
the policy that's created this problem. And some organizations such as No More Deaths out of Tucson, Arizona, they published a report last year, they
are actually citing 80,000.
SREENIVASAN: And, Jeff, this is not a problem that occurred just under one president or another. I mean, can you trace this policy back as -- well,
even as far as Clinton, probably before that.
BEMISS: Yes. When you get into immigration, the traditional notions of left and right politics really do flip and mix. The Clinton administration put
this policy prevention through deterrence in place, which is most responsible for this crisis, and it's been in place now for, you know, 27
years, and it's really become a matter of national security since 9/11.
You know, immigration used to be more of a labor and economic issue. And now, it's a national security issue, and it's really -- there's an
enforcement only mentality and it created the smuggling industry. If you close the safe ports of entry and push people into clandestine crossings,
you create value for the smugglers' services, and that's really what happened.
SREENIVASAN: I want to share had a clip of the people who are out there trying to catalog and trying to find through DNA who these people might
have been and get that word back to their families. Let's take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DR. KATE SPRADLEY, BIOLOGICAL ANTHROPOLOGIST, TEXAS STATE UNIVERSITY: We realized there was a big problem along the border, and I don't think
anybody realized just how big it was. We were trying to answer the question, how many people have died along the U.S.-Mexico border. You
couldn't answer that. We realized we hardly anything. Will go to county records. Some counties have intelligent (ph) burial records and have
records. And what we found is their records are not always accurate and they're fairly incomplete.
We supposed that just about every single individual had to have a death certificate. We got records from vital statistics, but they only date back
to 2006, and they are not complete either. We generated ourselves a list of cemeteries in each area. So, we go and we physically walk through the
cemeteries looking for unidentifieds.
We have physically found about 130 burials. And then, areas where there's potentially up to 300 more. We're not even scratching the surface with the
three counties we visited.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There's another cemetery that's got some unidentified.
DR. SPRADLEY: Oh, really?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.
DR. SPRADLEY: What's -- it's not (INAUDIBLE)?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's Latina. And the owners --
DR. SPRADLEY: We haven't been there.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.
DR. SPRADLEY: It's shocking to find that there's been thousands of people that have died, and we don't know what happened to them.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SREENIVASAN: Jeff, back to that scale question that we started our conversation with, the fact there are still discoveries of people who have
been buried with no identification and that we just accept that.
BEMISS: It is shocking. I mean, in 2014, right before we started making the documentary, Lori Baker from Baylor University in Texas, had a team of
students and they were down in Brooks County. They were exhuming the bodies of anonymously buried migrants, and they found -- I mean, it was really
essentially some kind of a mass grave, a co-mingled grave. There were no records, no DNA had been taken, you know, bodies were mixed in trash bags,
and it was a scandal.
But what they found out is that the law was really not being followed. When you bury someone in an unmarked grave without taking a DNA sample, not only
is it illegal, but you're essentially closing all doors to the possibility that their family will ever get closure, will ever know what happened to
And so, Kate Spradley, who you saw in the clip, and her students at Texas University, I mean, they are trying to locate and exhume and identify every
anonymously buried migrant in South Texas. And, I mean, Kate will tell you, I mean, she doesn't think she will ever complete that work. I mean, that's
how extensive the burials are.
CANALES: We've had 200 -- over 220 bodies or exhumed graves from Brooks County, the burial park right there. And this is a project, you know, that
we're part of, a forensic party coalition. I work with Dr. Spradley on a daily basis. The Cemetery Mapping Project is something that we undertook as
a project, and we've gone through about seven counties already.
So, the process is ongoing in terms of the unidentified graves that exist all over South Texas is daunting as it may be, who knows how many bodies
are -- you know, that are buried and unidentified, and that's what we're trying to find.
SREENIVASAN: Jeff, you also tried to personalize this by following families who are searching for their loved ones, that they know made it across the
border but then nothing more. Tell us a little bit about them.
BEMISS: Well, one of the families is the family of the missing person Homero Roman. And we actually met them because they were searching for
information online and they were using search terms like missing in Brooks County, and we had a little website up in our filming.
So, we connected on the phone and then, sat down with them in person in Texas maybe a week later, and we actually proposed participating in the
film, and they went and had a family meeting and came back and very bravely said yes. They would like the story of what happened to their brother,
Homero, to be a part of the film.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MICHELLE CHINOS, HOMERO'S SISTER-IN-LAW: We don't know where he's at, but I still talk like he's still here. If he's alive, maybe somebody can
recognize his picture and let us know. And if he's dead, we just want a place where we can go to leave some flowers but to know that he's there. We
just want that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SREENIVASAN: Eddie, I want you to describe what the conditions are that migrants face when they get across the Texas border and they are in Brooks
County and they are trying to circumvent that checkpoint, what are they experiencing?
CANALES: All right. We've got several processes. Once you get to the border in Mexico, you're going to -- you're kind of turned over to somebody that's
going help you cross the river and they make it through the river there. And then, once you cross the river, you're being turned over somebody.
Now, this is individuals that are trying to make it all the way up to their destination point. A lot of people are realizing now that it doesn't --
it's not serving them well to turn themselves in, you know. And then, once they are turned over to somebody that's going to guide them through the --
that they may go to a safe house for a little bit but then, they will be staged into the brush.
Well, you know, at this point right now, you're encountering a lot of cold, hypothermia, that's really something that's present right now. But if you
don't have the right shoes, if you don't have the right clothing, if you don't have water, and what's really critical is the water situation because
it could be a three-day trail, you know, walk, or it could be -- you know, it depends on how close you get to circumventing the checkpoint. It is
harsh. It is deadly. And people are suffering and people are dying.
SREENIVASAN: Eddie, there are people along the border, some ranchers, that do help in some of the work that you're doing by allowing you to have water
stations on their land and giving you access when you need to search for someone. And then, there are also ranchers who don't see it the same way as
you, who see this in a different sort of national security context.
They are concerned that this is a gaping hole, that there are severe threats, and there are some who form different kinds of vigilante
organizations, who set up watches, and I want to play a clip here to -- just to show our audience.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You can see this thing for three miles. This is what they use in Afghanistan. What they used in Iraq.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is Interstate Highway 281. This is a caliche road into one of the main ranches down here, and illegal aliens will be coming
up through this area and we'll be covering a wide swath with a relatively thin net but with good visibility and with night vision equipment.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Last month, 12 were running right up the fence. When they got to the cattle guard, they turned and went across. That could be
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Or the other thing, is just use them as cartel soldiers within, you know --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: -- enforcers within the United States.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And -- yes. Cartel enforcers is definitely a possibility. You know, (INAUDIBLE) army. You know, I know this. If you've
never thought of these things before, this sounds way far out, but I'm not at all convinced that they are not the enemy countries in (INAUDIBLE) that
are going to attempt to overtake us internally.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SREENIVASAN: Eddie, you've tried to meet some these people before. Do you try to have a conversation with them about what they think?
CANALES: In the beginning of my presence there in (INAUDIBLE), Texas, in Brooks County, I attended the border patrol meetings that they had on a
monthly basis. It was a liaison meeting with all the ranchers. And that's how I began to make the build relationships and make connections.
You know, I would extend my hand out as I introduce myself and say, hey, you know, I'm the guy that's starting to place water stations out there.
You know, could you -- do you think that you could, you know, entertain and have a water station? It could, you know, prevent them from coming to your
door if we place a water station somewhere else in your property.
And, you know, so it took -- you know, it was painful because a lot of different opinions were taking place. Fairly some of them fairly raunchy
and racist in terms of that aspect of it and how people are reacting. But at the most time, most people in Brooks County are -- have the feeling that
we should not have death. We should -- people should not die. And there's, you know, compassionate perspective regarding, you know, having access to
some of these ranches.
SREENIVASAN: You had access to members of the border patrol, and you were able to ride along with them and see the work that they are doing and what
they are going through as well. And I want to play a quick clip of that quick clip of that.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In this ranch, as you can see, everything looks the same. So, a person can say, well, we're waiting by a fence and the fence is
the same three miles back in right here. So, for us to find that one place is very, very hard. And this is the third one in a week. It used to get to
me. So, now, it kind of -- you know, we don't call them -- we call them what we call them bodies. If you start calling them people then it starts
getting to you.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SREENIVASAN: You know, what struck me about that is that he is self-aware enough to know what is causing his pain, and at the same time, his solution
is really almost to sort of clinically dehumanize what he has to go through every day.
BEMISS: Yes. Look, I think really that moment says as much about the policy that he has to enforce as it does about him. We met a lot of border patrol
agents that were suffering PTSD from this sort of work. What the border patrol has done is instead of changing the tactics, which are really
causing these to put people in mortal danger, they have formed another division, and he was a part of that division called Border Star, which is
their search-and-rescue division.
But what you end up with is a policy that's really in conflict with itself. It's like the right-hand strikes and the left-hand saves. So, his job is to
save people who are in jeopardy from the border patrol's own tactics. So, instead of changing their tactics, that was their solution.
And as you can see, you know, he is struggling emotionally to cope with his job, which I think is a red flag that something has gone very wrong
somewhere with the way we're administering our border.
SREENIVASAN: The film is called "Missing in Brooks County." Eddie Canales from the South Texas Human Rights Center, and filmmaker, Jeff Bemiss, thank
BEMISS: Thank you, Hari.
CANALES: Thank you very much.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: It actually premieres tonight on PBS. It's also available to stream on pbs.org.
And finally, a record broken against all odds. Rafael Nadal has won his 21st Grand Slam at the Australian Open, breaking the previous men's record
he shared with Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic.
Imagine this, at 35, you're one of the oldest players on the tour. Months ago, a foot injury means you might never return to tennis. And then, you
find yourself two sets down to the second seed Daniil Medvedev in the final. But now, imagine that none of that stops you.
Last year, I asked Nadal about that record and what motivates him. Here's what he told me then.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RAFAEL NADAL, 21-TIME GRAND SLAM CHAMPION: I did much more than what they ever did, you know, in my tennis career. So, of course, it will be amazing
for me to win one more and to be at the end of my career, to be the player with more Grand Slams.
But, you know what, I know that that will not be the key for my happiness in the future, you know. So, just be something about trying every single
day or in every tournament that I'm going to compete, but for me, it's not the extra pressure and it's not an obsession, no. I just keep going, doing
it my way.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: And doing it his way at Grand Slams makes him a male G.O.A.T., a.k.a. the greatest of all time.
That's it for now. Remember, you can always catch us online and on our podcast. Thanks for watching and goodbye from London.