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Interview with The Atlantic Staff Writer and "The Most American City" Author George Packer; Interview with U.C. Santa Barbara Professor of Environmental Politics and Climate Policy Expert Leah Stokes; Interview with "Federer: Twelve Final Days" Co-Director and Vogue's "73 Questions" Creator Joe Sabia; Interview with "Federer: Twelve Final Days" Co-Director and "Senna," "Amy," Diego Maradona" Director Asif Kapadia; Interview with Johns Hopkins University Associate Professor of History Leah Rigueur. Aired 1-2p ET

Aired June 12, 2024 - 13:00:00   ET



CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Hello, everyone, and welcome to "Amanpour." Here's what's coming up.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We are playing Russian roulette with our planet.


AMANPOUR: Hotter and hotter, as climate records continue to shatter, I speak to Professor Leah Stokes and writer George Packer, who's just back

from scorching Phoenix, Arizona.

Then --


ROGER FEDERER, THEN-17 TIME GRAND SLAM WINNER AND FORMER PROFESSIONAL TENNIS PLAYER: Finally, to the game of tennis, I love you and will never

leave you.


AMANPOUR: -- one of the greatest players in the history of the game. Directors Asif Kapadia and Joe Sabia bring us never before seen footage of

tennis icon Roger Federer's final days on court.

Plus --


LEAH RIGUEUR, ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR OF HISTORY, JOHNS HOPKINS UNIVERSITY: African-Americans have been very vocal about how unhappy they are with the

American two-party system.


AMANPOUR: -- Professor Leah Rigueur talks to Michelle Martin about the black voter dynamics that could swing the U.S. election.

Welcome to the program, everyone. I'm Christiane Amanpour in London. Today, Greece closed schools and even the Acropolis due to soaring temperatures,

as G7 leaders travel to Italy to discuss the planet's biggest threats, including the climate crisis.

Last month was the hottest May ever, marking the 12th consecutive month that records were broken. In North America, a heat dome stretched across

Mexico and the Southwest United States in recent weeks, killing dozens of people. Listen to one woman describe the feeling in Arizona.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: To be honest, it feels like someone grabs a blow dryer and it's just blowing it straight in your face. That's exactly how it

feels. It's really hot. Sometimes if you go outside, you feel like you can't breathe.


AMANPOUR: Caught between increasing climate disaster and toxic partisan politics are people like that. Many of whom, who are living in the reality

of climate change right now.

In a major new cover story for "Ahe Atlantic," journalist George Packer spent months reporting from Phoenix, Arizona. Exploring the quixotic growth

fueling urban expansion, even as the water runs dry and the heat kills hundreds. But Packer found some glimmers of hope, writing "Partisanship

mattered less than facts. Disinformation and conspiratorial thinking had no answer for a dry well." And George Packer joins me, along with Professor

Leah Stokes, an expert in climate and energy policy and co-host of the podcast, "A Matter of Degrees." Welcome both of you to the program.

George Packer, I just want to start because yours is entitled "Phoenix is a Vision of America's Future." Describe how -- what are all the intersecting

issues that make it a vision of the future?

GEORGE PACKER, STAFF WRITER, THE ATLANTIC AND AUTHOR, THE MOST AMERICAN CITY: Yes, "The Atlantic" wanted me to go somewhere that would give us at

least a laboratory where we could see how America is doing and where it's going. And Phoenix, I think, is about as good a lab as you can find because

it really has all the major themes and conflicts and issues of our time. It has political extremism in a big way.

Every election year is a tense year in Arizona, and this year is no exception. It has a climate crisis that you just described and that I

reported on in my piece with unbearable heat as well as disappearing water in some parts of the state.

And it also has the border and immigration as a huge factor in the coming election. Abortion is another one. It's got this incredible nexus of

issues, some of which divide people almost hopelessly, and others have this odd effect of overcoming some of the divisions that seem so permanent and

insuperable in our country.

AMANPOUR: So, before we get to some of the, you know, policies and things, I just want to read a little bit from your article because you experienced

that extreme heat firsthand. And you struggled to walk even a mile from your hotel to an interview without feeling unwell.


Here's a quote. "Last summer, heat officially helped kill 644 people in Maricopa County. They were the elderly, the sick, the mentally ill, the

isolated, the homeless, the addicted. Methamphetamines causes dehydration and fentanyl impairs thought and those too poor to own or fix or pay for

air conditioning, without which a dwelling can become unlivable within an hour. Even touching the pavement is dangerous."

You know, were you prepared for that kind of extreme?

PACKER: No, I don't like really hot weather. So, I dreaded it. But when you're in it, you have this sense of real danger, imminent danger. If I

lose my way on a walk, if I stay out too long, if I can't find water, you are risking your life.

And people who are homeless, people who are vulnerable in the ways that I described, are risking their lives every day and dying every day. And the

emergency rooms over the summer fill up with people coming in whose body temperatures are 106 or 107, which is heat stroke and can be fatal. People

find ways of coping.

The City of Phoenix has lots of innovative methods of allowing people to come inside and cool off in these cooling buses and cooling buildings.

They're trying to plant more trees and build more shelters, because it's a kind of naked exposed city in the summer. But it, it all feels

unsustainable. Because driving, which is one way to cool off, because you're in your car, which is air conditioned, is also burning you up

because air conditioning causes 4 percent of global emissions.

So, there -- and the temperature rises every year. There is no abating of it. And who knows where it will be in 25 years. So, there is a sense of

eight months of the year, it's paradise. And that's why people move there. And four months of the year, it's deadly.

AMANPOUR: Leah Stokes, let me ask you about -- you know, you study this. You also study the -- you know, the politics around it, the environmental

politics. So, one of the things that George said, he quoted in his book in the article, whiskey is for drinking. Water is for fighting. You know,

there's a lack of water, but apparently people didn't seem to think that that was something that, you know, should be an election issue or a

political issue.

What are you seeing in terms of the politics around this now?


is, as we just heard, the climate crisis is happening now. For decades, it was sort of viewed as a problem for the future. Something that would affect

our grandchildren, or maybe poorer people in developing countries, you know, maybe something for somebody else.

And what we are seeing is that this is the climate crisis, it is on our doorsteps. This is what we are seeing in the United States at just one and

a quarter degree centigrade of warming. What happens when we blow past that 1.5 degrees target that, you know, governments around the world are trying

to hold us to? What if we go to 2 degrees or 2.5 degrees? What does life look like for everyday people? And so, this is becoming a really important

political issue.

And in the United States, for example, with the upcoming election this fall, there's going to be a very clear choice between somebody who says he

"wants to be a dictator on day one to drill, drill, drill." That's of course, Donald Trump, and somebody who really is the best climate president

this country has ever seen and has really focused on this issue.

So, will that play out in the election? Will people show up to vote for President Biden because of his climate record? I think it's too early to

tell. But we're certainly seeing the impacts are hitting everyday Americans every day.

AMANPOUR: Leah, I want to ask you a little bit more about the politics because George says, you know, solving the problem of water depends on

solving the problem of democracy. Here's another quote. The Republican Party there is more radical than any other state, but the chief

qualification for viability is an embarrassingly discredited belief in rigged elections.

So, you've got that. How does that affect what people think about climate policy, Leah? Because there are conservative Republicans who do believe --

I mean, they may be a small group, but they do believe that climate should be a unifier. And way back when, Republicans were -- you know, it wasn't a

partisan issue.

STOKES: You are absolutely right. This is something that I've written about in my book and many other political scientists have studied. In the

past, right-wing parties around the world were more supportive of climate action. For example, George H. W. Bush and even George W. Bush were

supportive of doing things on climate change.

Unfortunately, the fossil fuel industry has really taken hold of right-wing parties, like the Republican Party in the United States, but many right-

wing parties around the world. They have become really a chief constituency in the Republican Party.


And you'll hear, for example, Senator Whitehouse from Rhode Island talk about this a lot, the unlimited campaign contributions that we're seeing in

the post citizens united world means that fossil fuel companies can pour so much money into our elections. And they really have, for example, primary,

the few Republicans, people like Representative Bob Inglis, who cared about climate change, and even people like, for example, Senator McCain from

Arizona, who cared about climate change. These people were challenged in part with fossil fuel money by having these primary challenges. And that is

part of why the Republican Party has moved so far away from climate action.

AMANPOUR: And, George, when you were, you know, getting testimonials from all these people, you know, whiskey is for drinking, water is for fighting,

but on the other hand, you know, there's no conspiracy theory, I'm paraphrasing now, that can account for a dry well.

What feeling did you get from ordinary people in Phoenix about whether this was an issue that should be legislated, that climate should be something

that governments, not just individuals take care of?

PACKER: I think when you put it in the biggest terms possible, which is climate change, it immediately gets pulled into the vortex of the culture

wars and the partisan wars. And the sides line up and nothing gets done legislatively.

But if you look at it locally and in terms of a community's water supply or even the well in somebody's backyard in a rural county, a conservative

rural county in Southern Arizona, once people find that they're losing their water and it's in Arizona, it's partly because in rural areas, there

is no regulation. Phoenix is highly regulated and Phoenix has a lot of water. It's not about to run out. But exurban communities around Phoenix

and even more rural areas around the state are risking losing their groundwater.

And it's because it's unregulated and big agribusinesses are coming in from out of state and even from other countries and pumping relentlessly, local

people, including MAGA Republicans are upset about that and are now starting to demand that their state representatives allow legislation to

pass that would regulate groundwater.

It's still stuck in the partisan gears of the Arizona State Legislature, but what's interesting to me is to watch actual personal experience of that

incontrovertible fact, my well is dry, change the mind of a voter. And that seems to me like the beginning of a sane politics around climate.

AMANPOUR: In other words, when it happens to me, no matter what side of the political aisle I am on, I can see the devastating effects of it. And

in your piece, basically, you say Joe Biden's infrastructure, microchip, climate bills are sending billions of dollars to the valley, where you

were, but I hardly ever heard the mention.

I want to ask both of you. Basically, we're not hearing much about climate in -- you know, in any of the political manifestos and talking points that

both parties are using right now on the campaign trail. Leah, let me ask you about that. Do you think it's -- do you think people will vote on

climate, young people?

STOKES: Well, I certainly hope so. You know, the fact is the Republicans have put out a plan. It's called Project 2025. And people like Bill

McKibben have written about this in the nation. And it is a very detailed plan for how to dismantle our federal infrastructure. Things like getting

rid of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, which literally just keeps track of, you know, data around what is happening to our earth.

You know, they want to dismantle the Environmental Protection Agency.

We saw what a first Trump administration would do, rolling back, you know, almost 100 environmental rules, pulling us out of the Paris climate

agreement. And what does a well-organized second Trump administration look like? If you want to know what it looks like, look at that Project 2025

document. It's very scary.

By contrast, what the Biden folks want to do is they want to keep delivering. And as you're saying, why don't people know about it more?

Well, this law is just beginning to roll out. And we really need those four more years for all of those jobs to start rolling into these communities

for people to get electric vehicles, for them to put in a heat pump to start seeing those benefits. You know, laws take time to really take hold.

And with those crucial years before 2030, whoever wins this fall election will really be rewriting, you know, world history when it comes to the

climate crisis. So, I certainly hope people understand the climate stakes of this election because they're monumental.

AMANPOUR: Well, interestingly, one of his previous transition, people did say that that they would reverse everything that Biden has done. Do either

of, you know, whether any of Biden's climate initiatives have a sort of baked in or all or many of them reversible, George?


PACKER: Well, what I would add to what Professor Stokes said is I'm not sure that policy and voting are as connected as we think they are, or as

they used to be. I think people vote more and more along what I would call tribal lines. This is my identity. This is who I vote for.

And if they discovered that Biden's three big legislative achievements have brought a battery plant to their town, they may not think, therefore, I

will vote for Biden. It may just kind of go in one ear and out the other. I saw a lot of that, just national politics and the ins and outs of

Washington legislation having very little effect on people's thinking about the election.

And it's also, I think, the failure of the Biden administration itself to defend its achievements and to speak for them. And that goes to the

president himself, who is not a master of rhetoric, and rhetoric is important in politics. So, that doesn't quite answer your question. But I

do think we shouldn't expect there to be a logical cause and effect if a bill gets passed by a president that leads to certain electoral results.

AMANPOUR: And, Professor Stokes, you know, overseas, we've just seen the European elections, and the greens didn't do very well, which is very

different to what happened the last time with there were these parliamentary elections.

Why -- you know, all this emotion and enthusiasm around Greta Thunberg, which really powered a green sort of momentum in Europe a few years ago

seems to have not materialized this time. What are you seeing overseas as well? Because even the Europeans have tried to have a, you know, green

recovery, so to speak.

STOKES: Yes. I mean, look, the polling going into those elections in the last few days was worse than what the actual outcome was. It's true that

the green parties did not do very well, and there was some surging in the far-right, but it was not as bad as people were predicting in the polls.

And the coalition that will continue to govern is does want climate action.

And of course, as you know, what really matters is who is controlling the countries in the European Union. So, for example, the election coming up in

the U.K. within a month, which looks like the labor government, the Labour Party may regain government. It's going to be crucial that they actually

govern on climate change, that they use these years up until 2030 to make a difference.

Because as you were saying, we could be seeing rollbacks in the United States. In fact, we would be if Donald Trump becomes president. And so,

countries around the world really need to be electing climate leaders and having them deliver. Because 2030 is just really one election cycle away.

The elections this year will determine the fate of our climate goals.

AMANPOUR: Because that is one of those benchmark years for achieving all the dates and the limits that we've been told by the U.N. You know, we have

been reporting on young people, for instance, in Montana, in the United States and elsewhere, elderly people in the U.S. and in places like, I

think it was Switzerland, who took, you know, the authorities, government, whoever it was, to court for their own human rights in terms of the right

to be, you know, healthy and to have their wildlife, et cetera.

Do you think, Leah and even George, that they have weight in the political universe right now? First to you, Professor Stokes.

STOKES: Yes, I really think that George's reporting is showing what the front lines of climate change look like, as are these court cases. You

know, people are connecting the dots. They're starting to understand that climate change is happening now. And that's even starting to break some of

the partisan division, as George was talking about.

And so, these court cases are really starting to change the dialogue. There's also laws beginning to be passed, like in Vermont, really just in

the last couple weeks, that say that the fossil fuel companies who lied about climate change, they will be responsible for paying for some of the

damages that they caused. So, we're really moving into the climate change era where damages are happening now, and I think that is going to start to

shift the politics.

AMANPOUR: And last final quick word to you, George, did you come away with any optimism from all of that very intense reporting?

PACKER: Again, when I was very close to people's lives as they lived them and as they experienced them, yes, people were saying they were rational

and they made rational choices about what they needed in order to make sure they would have water or even they would not die of heat.

But I think the bigger this issue gets, the more abstract, the more global, the harder it is to move people on it. Climate is a very low priority in

most polls before elections. It matters hugely who gets elected, as Professor Stokes was saying, but it doesn't necessarily get people elected.

And that's the worry I have year after year and why we keep kicking the can down the road.


AMANPOUR: George Packer, Professor Leah Stokes, thank you both very much indeed for joining us.

Next, we turn to a true legend. When tennis great Roger Federer retired two years ago, it was the end of an extraordinary career. In Grand Slam after

Grand Slam, he racked up the titles while appearing eerily calm and grounded. Not for him, the tantrums of other greats like McEnroe or even


Now, a new documentary takes a look at the enigmatic Swiss giant, following him behind the scenes in the last 12 days of his career. Here's a clip from

the trailer.


ROGER FEDERER, THEN-17 TIME GRAND SLAM WINNER AND FORMER PROFESSIONAL TENNIS PLAYER: I thought until this morning I had emotions in check, but I

can feel it coming up.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He will play the Laver Cup, that'll be his last match of his career. Djokovic, Nadal, Murray, they're all going to be there.

FEDERER: To know that I will not have this feeling again, it's painful.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A mountain of memories are flooding back to him right now.

FEDERER: These are the nerves I'm going to miss once I'm officially retired.

Finally, to the game of tennis, I love you and will never leave you.


AMANPOUR: The film is called "Federer: Twelve Final Days" and it is co- directed by Asif Kapadia, known for highly acclaimed documentaries like "Amy" and "Senna." And Joe Sabia, best known as the creator of Vogue's "73

Questions." And both join me here on set.

Let me ask you first, how did you, you know -- did you come up with this? Were you -- how did it come about?

JOE SABIA, CO-DIRECTOR, "FEDERER: TWELVE FINAL DAYS" AND CREATOR, VOGUE'S "73 QUESTIONS": Well, I was saying I didn't search for this, this kind of

searched for me. Because in 2019, I interviewed Roger for "73 Questions," and it was the best interview that we've done. He had a good experience, I

had a good experience, and we kept in -- I kept in touch with his team.

So, in 2022 comes around, I get invited into his office where his agent, Tony, says, top secret, don't tell anyone, but Roger's going to retire from

the sport of tennis next week, and he's going to do it via his Instagram page in an audio message. And then 12 days after that, he's going to play

his last match. Should we film something? I'm like, of course you should film something.

AMANPOUR: So, film something as a home video, a personal memento, or as a documentary?

SABIA: He's a private guy. So, I think there were reservations, especially from Roger, like, I don't want to make a -- I don't want to put this out to

the world, like I'm so private. So, the opportunity arose to say, OK, well, we can go in his home for the first time. We're going to capture his

children for the first time, his wife, Mirka, may give an interview for the first time in 20 years.

So, I definitely agreed that this should be something that's private, it should probably never see the light of day. And that gave Roger the comfort

to allow me, another cameraman, and a sound guy to capture it all.

AMANPOUR: And then, Asif, how did you come into this? I mean, obviously you have a record as the preeminent sports and other documentarians, but

how did you get into this?


AMANPOUR: You didn't even know Roger Federer was going to resign?

KAPADIA: No, I didn't know anything about that. I didn't know Joe. I just was sent, like, some material. I was sent a link saying, have a look at

this. Would you be interested in kind of turning it into a feature film? Because this has been created, it's a home movie, no one's meant to see it.

And I had to look at it -- I have to be honest. At the beginning I was like, I'm not sure. Not sure this is for me.

But I watched it and I found it really emotional and I thought, this is interesting. because it's basically -- it's not a life story, it's about

getting old.

AMANPOUR: Exactly. Exactly. It's not the whole arc of a fantastic career. It's those 12 final days. So, emotional. I'm going to play a clip. You've

given us a few clips. And this is -- I mean, I think it's quite funny because Federer is known for being quite emotional. Let's play this clip.


FEDERER: I feel like I'm ready to start and get it behind me. That's what I have. I feel -- my God. Hopefully, I will not be using those tissues

today, but I'm an emotional guy. So, we'll never know.


AMANPOUR: I mean, were you having to sort of navigate his -- you know, the tap works throughout?

SABIA: I just arrived from a flight from Switzerland that morning. And I'm in that room. I lost my luggage. It didn't arrive for days. And we're just

figuring it out. How are we going to do this with just two cameras? So, everything you see is just so -- there's no time to prep. There's no time

to plan. Just shoot and see what happens.

So, he's in that moment. You're watching the feels. You're watching the nerves. You're watching him go through something like looking off of an

edge of a cliff and feeling like you're about to jump. And that was that moment. That was the tension in the room. It was so special.

AMANPOUR: And then, you who knew nothing about it, what was -- how did you then shape the story? What was it about this actually really interesting

end of a person's career?


KAPADIA: Yes. So, for me, it's always interesting to kind of say, well, what is this film going to be? What is it about? I'm of a certain age now,

and I'm looking at it going, well, you know, I'm a director. I hope I can carry on directing in my 60s, 70s, 80s if I want. A lot of my heroes

carried on until really late in life.

If you're an athlete, there's a point when your body just can't do it anymore. So, I thought that was interesting. And also, the way I read this,

like my other films, I was given this archive. There's all this material of a particular period of time. I didn't know Joe at the time. I didn't know

anything. I didn't -- I hadn't met Roger. And I just started looking at the material with my editor, Avi (ph). And then the idea was, well, let's keep

it for what it is. Let's just protect that form for a period of time.

But through it, we go off to tangents. We go to the past. There's like the history of great tennis players that all appear at different points,

McEnroe, Laver, Borg, and we say a little bit about each of them. There is an archive, but it's not --


KAPADIA: And Nadal, of course. And his friends and his rivals. We're in the locker room, we're in the car, we're in the elevator, you know, we meet

the family, and it was just this idea of telling a character story, but through a very small framing device, and I thought that was interesting. I

haven't really seen that before.

AMANPOUR: No, I hadn't either, and I will say that for the first 27 minutes, I was -- you know, it's an hour and 27 minutes, and I was trying

to figure out where you're going, what you're doing, because that was the first bit of him announcing, and all the rest of it.

But then it suddenly got into this chapter. People don't like to talk about aging. They don't want to talk about retiring. They don't want to be, you

know, knocked off their pedestal. Do you think that -- was it just the knee? What was it that caused him to retire then? Was it the injuries?

SABIA: I think the knee surgery has had a large part to do with it for sure. I think he -- I think the knees made him a different player, made him

-- but more significantly, I think it forced him to be just a normal human to realize that age catches up with everyone at a certain point. This is

something that Asif latched onto when the Roger's coach Severin says that epic line, athletes die twice.

And I think what you're noticing is a real-time moment by moment observation and realization of this fact, and that's what makes it so

compelling, is that this is so raw, this is -- there's a subtlety to this. But even more importantly, the fact that no one's giving their say about

how it all needs to unfold. There's no development executives telling Roger how to do this. Roger's not telling us how to capture this.

So, you're capturing something that feels unique in a time where everyone expects for docs to be so big and so loud.

AMANPOUR: Exactly. And the fact that he was just going to retire. I mean, he was one of the greatest ever. I mean, and he was just going to put

something on social media, you know, goes to what you've just said, there was no big, you know, direction about how to step off the stage.

And I want to play this clip because we see him himself comparing his own temperament to, let's say, Djokovic's.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The Federer fans in the beginning didn't really like him because they just thought, well, Roger's like a bit more easy. You

know, he does it with ease. Then Novak came in with his strong personality and that unbelievable grit, wanting to win at all costs.

FEDERER: I know that this was something I was criticized a lot, heavily. Why wouldn't I fight more when losing? I didn't quite understand what that

meant. Do I have to grunt? Do I have to sweat more? Do I have to shout more? Do I have to be more aggressive towards my opponents? What is it? I

tried, but it was all an act. I'm not like that. It's not my personality.


AMANPOUR: I just think that's such a fascinating insight, Joe. Really tricky to make that balance.

SABIA: Yes. I mean, I credit Asif for figuring out how to make the archive go deeper than the surface that I scratched, and that was Asif's job in

pulling that out.

AMANPOUR: Yes. No, but I just mean that, you know, the fact that he had to deal with his public persona. Was he going to, you know, scream and shout

and do a tantrum? But he didn't. I don't know whether you ever discussed anything like that with him in the "73 Questions."

SABIA: Oh, no, no, no. Definitely not that. I think the thing that was interesting about "73 Questions" is that you see him engaging with the ball

kids and spending time to talk to them. You see him answering questions like what rival do you dread playing the most and enjoy playing the most,

and his answer is Rafael Nadal. A little bit of a precursor to what you see.

But what I think is really more interesting is what you don't see in "73 Questions," is specifically him about to play his last Slam where he made

it to the finals, he ended up losing to Djokovic. But this is a guy who has his knee injuries on his mind. This is a guy who's so concerned that his

wife and his family are going to witness something catastrophic. Given this new situation, the anxiety in that.

So, I think the relief in the release that everyone feels when watching this, knowing that he finally got through this retirement, OK, he did it

safely. He did it with class. He did it with elegance is something that's very palpable.


AMANPOUR: I actually got to interview him in 2015 at Wimbledon, and I sort of delicately broached the issue of -- because I'd been told by people who

knew him that as a kid, he had been quite emotional. He wasn't above throwing a racket round and, you know, his parents had to get him in hand

and tell him how to behave. So, this is our clip.


AMANPOUR: You seem to have this equanimity about you. Losing doesn't put you into some kind of vortex of despair. Andy Murray's mother has been

quoted as saying when he lost to you in 2012 here, he was desperate and sad and weeping for days. It affects some people, but it doesn't seem to affect


FEDERER: Not so much, you know. I agree. I think I used to be so emotional when I was younger that I learned from that. I cried too often when I was

younger, all the way from, I'd say eight to about 20. It was unbelievably emotional years for me. Every time I lost, I would basically cry.

So, even as a pro, sometimes on court, sometimes I could manage to get off the court and then break down, which was better. But eventually, you know,

I got my act together. And now, I take it like a man. And five minutes later, I'm fine again. Of course, I'm also disappointed that I have to

either wait a year until Wimbledon rolls around or until the next Olympic comes around. You know, it takes four years, but it just -- it goes with

the territory.

You can't win them all. But what you can do is give it all you have. And once you have no regrets, I think you can accept losses also a little bit



AMANPOUR: I think it's amazing. I think it's really amazing. First of all, that he's a grown man who is not afraid to show his emotions, therefore

gives a lot of boys and men permission to show their emotions. But I wonder, you --

KAPADIA: It's a film with lots of grown men crying.

AMANPOUR: Yes, it really is. Especially when it showed the end and the final scene.

KAPADIA: It really is. I mean, what happens is he sets everyone else off, because he's coming to the end of his career, and all of his rivals are

there in the room, and they can see it's going to be me soon.


KAPADIA: And what am I going to do? And all of them are thinking, What next? What do we do now?

AMANPOUR: Oh, I didn't think that. I just thought it was sad. You're right, of course. Because now Nadal is in question, Djokovic had to pull

out of Roland Garros and had surgery for his meniscus.

KAPADIA: It's happening. You can't fight time. So, that's what's really interesting. It's about him, but it's really about them. And I think the

audience, all of us go through this moment, saying, we've come to the end of a certain part of our life, what are we going to do next? So, that's

what I find kind of powerful. It's quite subtle compared to some of the other films I've done.


KAPADIA: But it's also quite Roger. You know, that's him. He's quite contained. He's very Swiss. Comes up --turns up on time, you know, really,

really polite and a gentleman, but he's got all this emotion underneath it. And I think that seeing these athletes be so open with emotions, I've not

seen anything like that.

AMANPOUR: Yes, I mean I do -- I was going to ask you how you -- how it compared to, for instance -- I mean, I know "Senna" was not alive when you

did it, but "Diego Maradona," "Senna," their personas, how did they compare in this kind of regard?

KAPADIA: I think, for me, the challenge is to look at the material, study the archive, try to understand they're -- you know, they're psyche. And

then the film has to be true to the character. So, "Amy" is about Amy, and she's very different to Roger. I don't know if Roger's ever been to Camden.

You know, they're very different where they're from.

And so, the film has got to be true to the person you're making it about. And so that -- that's the thing. Rather than imposing a style on each one,

it's really about the film is kind of a reference, or a vision visually of the person. And Roger's very different.

Tennis is very different to Formula 1. Tennis is very different to football, if you're from a favela, you know, in South America, and live in

Naples. That's not the same as Wimbledon. So, the films are not going to be the same.

AMANPOUR: So, this -- I believe, the next clip we have, I think it's about the Laver Cup, the final meeting of them all, and his final game. Let's

just play this little clip.


FEDERER: Just, I guess, seeing all the other players, that was hard. They were so emotional. Their whole career, I've been there.


AMANPOUR: It is. I mean, the audience was crying, everybody was crying. When you see that, what do you think-- obviously they had such a bond. They

all respected Roger. They all respected each other. They were just so top of the game. Do you think that we will see another rival? I mean, when you

see people like Carlos and Jannik Sinner, do you think that we're going to see another great rivalry that Roger has inspired, you know, a whole new

and younger generation of male players?

SABIA: I mean, if you asked me this question years ago, I wouldn't know how to answer because I wasn't a tennis fan. But after this experience, I

watched tennis, and enough to be able to have an opinion to say that, yes, the new generation is playing at a level, I think, of a lot of people have

never witnessed before. And I think, you know, Roger, Rafa, of course Djokovic, have inspired a whole generation to kind of breakthrough to a

level unseen before.


But the question, I think, on a lot of people's minds, and I was really captivated by the unanimity of how everyone agrees that Roger did it most


AMANPOUR: I think, I mean --

SABIA: And --

AMANPOUR: Yes. Because I think everybody struggles with how to do it. And that's why this film is so interesting in that regard. I want to play my

final clip. It's about Mirka, his wife. And as you said, she's basically never given an interview. This isn't her, actually. This is Roger talking

about her. But it's very interesting.


FEDERER: It's only afterwards where I start to realize how much Mirka's been suffering. I don't remember her begging me to stop, but of course, she

was asking the question, why are we still doing this? I know that for her sitting there, she really didn't like that anymore because she could feel I

was not going to be the best anymore.


AMANPOUR: We've got 30 seconds. Her value.

KAPADIA: I think she's the person who moves me the most in the film. Whenever she turns up on the screen and speaks and is also emotional, she's

the one who makes me cry personally. Tennis is so unusual. No other sport has the wife or the girlfriend or the family constantly there to cut away



KAPADIA: You don't have that in football. You don't have that in rugby. Tennis is all a part of the story, isn't it? It's the family and the coach

and the wife or girlfriend.

AMANPOUR: And that was a great story.

KAPADIA: Or husband.

AMANPOUR: They met at the Australia Olympics. She was a tennis player. Injury forced her to retire early and she supported him, you know, forever.

SABIA: Incredible woman.

AMANPOUR: Yes, and it's a really, really good film. And it comes out on the 20th, correct? Next week. Wonderful. Joe Sabia, Asif Kapadia, thank you

so much indeed.

Now, as the U.S. November election draws closer, Republicans and Democrats are treading a fine line between appealing to their loyal base and

undecided voters. For Democrats, black voters have historically been a bastion of support, but recent data warns against taking them for granted.

In fact, a Pew Research poll showed about half would replace both presidential candidates, hinting at their growing disaffection with the

Democratic Party. And to understand why, Michel Martin speaks with Leah Rigueur, associate professor of history at Johns Hopkins University.


MICHEL MARTIN, CONTRIBUTOR: Thanks, Christiane. Professor Leah Rigueur, thank you so much for joining us.


MARTIN: As we are speaking now, there have been a slew of headlines about, you know, African-American voters, black voters, and their sort of

ambivalent feelings about the candidates. So, why don't we just -- before we kind of dig into the data, why don't we just kind of just drill down and

say what are the most important themes to be looking at right now and what's just noise?

RIGUEUR: So, I think some of the things that we should be looking at are the levels of dissatisfaction with the American political process. African-

Americans have been very vocal about how unhappy they are with the American two-party system. And a lot of it, I think, has to do with, you know,

overall trends in the larger country.

And in that respect, African-Americans are just like their white counterparts or their Asian counterparts or their Latino counterparts, they

deeply care about the economy. They care about social mobility. They care about their communities. And for many of these people, they have seen that,

you know, the policies that either the Biden administration has touted, or in some cases that the Trump administration has touted, that none of those

have actually affected them their lived experience.

So, when you see African-Americans and we when we interview African- Americans or pull them on across a wide field of data, we tend to see overwhelmingly that they are deeply unhappy with their position and their

lived experience within the United States.

MARTIN: Is this more of an issue for Democrats, writ large, than it is for Republicans? Because we keep seeing how there are Republicans who, you

know, aren't in love with their choice either. I guess what I'm asking you is, are African-American voters dissatisfied because of their lived

experience as black people or are they dissatisfied because Democrats overall are satisfied and because they tend to be Democrats?

RIGUEUR: So, it's all of the above. And I will tell you that this is a larger problem for the Democratic Party than it is for the Republican

Party. One of the things that we've seen over the last several presidential cycles is that Republican candidates can win without a majority or even a

large percentage of the black vote. But we also know that Democrats can win with the help of this very large and loyal black base of voters.

And so, the real problem is the enthusiasm problem. Democrats need black voters in order to win presidential elections. Republicans only need a

small sliver of black voters in order to win elections. And this is why I say that, in many ways, it's an uphill battle for Democrats in this



Republicans only need a low turnout from black voters in order to win elections as of the last, really, 50 some odd years. And so, part of what

the Democrats are facing is we have this incredibly loyal base, a bloc of voters for whom no other demographic within the United States functions

this way.

And yet, because they have been so loyal, and because they vote as a bloc in overwhelming numbers for the Democratic Party and have done so since,

really, 1964, we begin to see that Democrats are taking black voters for granted or treat it in very superficial ways. Black voters have expressed

over the years both anger, disenchantment, disillusionment, with the feeling that they aren't being appreciated in the way that the Republican

Party appreciates its white base.

So, it is a question of loyalty, but it's also a question of what have you done for us lately?

MARTIN: According to a survey from GenForward at the University of Chicago, this survey found that 17 percent of black voters would vote for

Donald Trump if the elections were held today. Today being, you know, when the poll was taken. First of all, do you think that's a valid number? And

secondly, what do you make of it?

RIGUEUR: I think the number is probably a little bit -- it's probably off a little bit. You know, one of the things that we see is the number that

people give in these kinds of polling data tends to be offset by at the end of the day. And when people go into the ballot box, they either vote for

the Democratic candidate or they don't vote at all, right. So, it manifests itself as a non-vote at the top of the ticket.

But I also want to remind people that anything within the range of 18 -- roughly 18 percent is actually within the norm of the last 50 some odd

years. We tend not to see it as the norm because of the Obama era. At the Obama era, those numbers are just Astronomical because of the overwhelming

level of black support for the first black president. But what we see starting in 2016 really is a return to the average. So, I like to say that

when we see these Trump numbers, whether they were in 2016, 2020, or 2024, we are seeing a return to home, that essentially black people who vote for

the Republican Party are coming home.

The other thing that I think is important to keep in mind is that when black people perceive very little difference between the two major

political parties, really one of three things happens. Either they vote for a third-party candidate, they don't vote altogether, or in very small

numbers, within the mean of what we're seeing with the GenForward, I think, polling data, they will vote for and support Republicans.

So, I think that tells us something about how black voters perceive the Democratic Party, or at least 17 to 20 percent. We also know that younger

black voters are increasingly expressing dissatisfaction with the Democratic Party. Many of them have indicated that they view President

Biden and his administration -- whether rightly or wrongly, they view that administration as either indifferent or outwardly hostile to issues of

civil rights.

MARTIN: Say more about that. Why? Behind closed doors, or even really not behind closed doors, a lot of the Democratic strategists will express

surprise and dismay. They're like, well, what about Kamala Harris? The first African-American/South Asian person to hold that seat? What about all

the efforts that the president has made on college loans, to cancel that debt or, you know, they look at things like that and they go, what's the

story? So, you -- what is that?

RIGUEUR: You know, one of the things -- the pushbacks I always get, including from Democratic strategists or even just the general public is,

well, why are we so concerned? It's still -- you know, the number is still like 80 percent of African-Americans or black voters support the democratic


And yes, that may be true, but it's also true that there is a slow trickle of black voters who are expressing dissatisfaction and also articulating a

kind of argument about the failures of the Democratic Party. And so, part of what I would put forward is that we're not necessarily seeing a robust

effort on the part of Republicans. They're not winning black voters over because of their policies or procedures or programs, but instead, because

of the failures of the Democratic Party to connect organically and authentically to a very, I think, tense section, cross-section of black


And in that case, one of the things that we know is that there is a way in which the Democratic Party has completely missed an opportunity to really

get down organically and understand the needs, the desires, and the frustrations of black voters in many ways.

MARTIN: What does that look like? The Obama approach, I would -- maybe you could argue the Obama-Biden approach has been to act on policy without

labeling it as being for the benefit of these groups, right? Their approach has been, we're going to work on policy and we're going to present this

policy as beneficial to the country at large, and, you know, read between the lines.


You know, if you cancel student debt, who has the most student debt? It's certain groups. If you make health care more widely available through the

Affordable Care Act, read between the lines. Who does it benefit? Is it really that the messaging needs to be this is for you, or are there other

policies that the Democrats aren't pursuing that African-Americans identify and say, you're failing us?

RIGUEUR: All of the above. And I would think back to the 2020 Democratic primaries where there was a real conversation, an actual real conversation

between the candidates, the front runner candidates, both of the 2020 and 2016 presidential primaries, about what would it look like to have policies

that are aimed specifically at African-American communities.

And, you know, in 2020, President Biden said, I will point a black woman to the Supreme Court, and he did it and it was one of the most powerful things

that he could do, even though the naming of a black woman and saying, I want to put a black woman on the Supreme Court is something that may have

alienated, you know, extensively racist people that maybe the Democrats needed to win. And yet, it paid off political dividends. It paid off

heavily. And it was rewarding, essentially, the most loyal constituency of his base.

MARTIN: What else should the administration be doing that they're not?

RIGUEUR: Voting rights, criminal justice reform, and some kind of large economic incentives. And I don't want to take away from the ways in which

the Biden administration has actually done those things through colorblind policy. They have done that. The messaging around it, though, is deeply

important, particularly in the way that you are conveying to audiences who feel left behind.

One of the things that the Trump administration did very well is that they spoke explicitly to their core base, the people that they needed to win.

And a lot of people, I think, were taken aback by that. But actually, if you look at it on the grand scheme of things, it was incredibly important

strategy. You need people enthusiastic around these things, but you also need policy wins, very big policy wins.

And so, I think, for many audiences, you know, you can point and say, well, I'm being gridlocked, and all those things are true. I'm being blocked out

of Congress. It's not possible to do these things. But that's not what audiences see. They see themselves being left behind.

MARTIN: You know, we've talked about, you know, policy, we've talked about sort of messaging, but do you think that there are some other factors as

well, like behind the disaffection of black voters?

RIGUEUR: The number one problem is disaffection with policy and lived experience. But something else that we've seen really just explode over the

last eight years is that there is a concerted cyber effort, international cyber effort that is explicitly aimed at black voters and black people more

generally. It pops up across this various kind of technological platforms, including Instagram, Facebook Twitter, now known as X, TikTok.

One of the things that's remarkable about these, I think, concerted efforts is that they are built on kernels of truth and frustration that African-

Americans and black voters have with the Democratic Party. And then, of course, what happens is that these things are blown up into misinformation,

into people in digital blackface, right? These kinds of conversations that take on a life of their own.

And then, the other thing that we know is that it is very hard, if not impossible, to track how these things are showing up.

MARTIN: I know during the last election, there were a couple of accounts that were very much a product of Russian troll farms who were basically

studying, sort of, points of division in the American society and actively kind of poking at them.

RIGUEUR: Exactly. And so, I think the best kind of misinformation or disinformation is the kind that starts from a kernel of truth, because it

makes it far more believable, or kernel of frustration. So, if you know that, for example, black men feel very strongly about the criminal justice

system and about the disproportionate way in which the American criminal justice system has treated black people and, you know, that there's some

way in which Joe Biden, President Joe Biden was involved in the passage of, say, the crime bill in the 1990s or things of that nature, it is very easy

to take that and to blow it up into something entirely different.


RIGUEUR: And to keep hitting people and hammering people on this issue.

MARTIN: You mentioned black men. Is there a way in which the disaffection or -- let's just say, attitudes, writ large, about the Democratic Party,

the Biden administration among black voters, does it cut differently depending on who you are? I guess what I'm wondering, does this cut

differently based on gender?

RIGUEUR: There's absolutely a gender component. And, you know, I want to clarify this first by suggesting the overwhelming, you know, majority of

black voters, male or female, support the Democratic Party and support Democratic candidates.


With that being said, black people that vote Republican in presidential elections, they tend to be overwhelmingly black men. And there are a couple

of reasons for this. And I think one of them is this idea of an individual and kind of frustration, right? The sense of an individualism and

frustration with these larger political institutions.

So, there is -- you know, take the George Floyd moment. Many black men looked at that and said, this is a failure of American political

institutions. But it's not just a failure of the Republican Party. That's not how black men viewed that. They viewed it as overall -- an overarching

frustration and failure with the American system, right? Policing and things of that nature. And they see it as a bipartisan failure. But what

that allows them to do, particularly given that their sense of individualism is much higher than black women, is to think, how can I then

vote in a way that best benefits myself.

Black women have a much, much more difficult time divorcing themselves from this idea of the collective best interest of the race. And that's where we

really begin to see these differences. It's also true that there is a certain cross-section within the black male population that is attracted, I

think, to Donald Trump's sense of essentially machismo and authoritarianism. They like that he is essentially a strong man. He is seen

as strong. They don't see him as weak.

So, I think that there are significant gender differences that actually end up playing out in really important political ways.

MARTIN: Former President Trump, Candidate Trump has said that he's not going to announce his vice-presidential nominee until the convention. There

seem to be two African-American men who seem to be in the running for that slot, South Carolina Senator Tim Scott and the Florida Congressman Byron

Donalds. And I was just wondering, does that matter? Do you think that that matters?

RIGUEUR: It matters, but not for black audiences. It matters for white audiences.

MARTIN: Interesting.

RIGUEUR: And let me explain a little bit. One of the things that we see over and over with black audiences is that there is a particular kind of

candidate, black candidate, that has enormous amount of appeal. Think Barack Obama, right? They have to be authentically and organically

connected to black communities. They have to -- seem invested in essentially the uplift or the betterment of black communities.

Neither one. And I would particularly point to the congressman's remarks the other day where he romanticized Jim Crow. I would point to the fact

that both of them have white spouses, that matters to black voters.

And one of the things that we know from studies about black Republicans and black audiences is that black audiences actually treat black Republicans

more harshly than they do white Republicans that have the hold the exact same views. Why? Because they view those black Republicans as traitors, as

betraying the best interests of the black communities.

Now, where it matters though is for white audiences, particularly white audiences that are deeply uncomfortable with Donald Trump's brand of

bigotry, xenophobia, and racism. Tim Scott is a reassurance. He says, well, if Tim Scott supports Donald Trump, then he can't be that bad, correct? It

provides a kind of shield for accusations of racism, of bigotry, and xenophobia. And I do actually think, politically, from a political

calculation point of view, that's very important.

MARTIN: Before we let you go, the Biden administration, or the Biden campaign is -- has seemed to really stepped up its outreach. I mean, there

are a lot of events. I mean, as we are speaking now, there's a Juneteenth celebration. I just wondered, do things like that matter?

RIGUEUR: They do matter. But I want to remind people that the Democratic Party actually has a much harder battle right now than the Republican Party

in terms of its relationship to black voters.

So, one of the things that they really need to pay attention to and really invest money into are these organic listening conversations. Sit down with

black voters and say, tell us what you want, and then listen rather than lecture. It's the same advice that I gave in my book to Republicans. If

you're actually serious about winning over black voters, sit down and listen. Don't start six months before an election.

And I think it's a tall charge, but it's not too late. And certainly, if the Democratic Party is willing to invest money and time and effort, they

can win back those voters who seem disaffected and disenchanted with their relationship with the Democratic Party. It is absolutely not too late.

MARTIN: Professor Leigh Rigueur, thank you so much for joining us and sharing these insights with us.

RIGUEUR: Thanks for having me.



AMANPOUR: And fascinating analysis there. Finally, tonight, toothbrushes, bottle caps, and beach toys, trash that has sunk to the bottom of our

oceans and polluted our beaches has resurfaced as art in this New York aquarium exhibit called "Washed Ashore." 35 larger than life sculptures try

to provoke viewers into thinking about how plastic is threatening the health of our planet. As rising sea levels continue to jeopardize coastal

cities and temperatures, breaking alarming records, protecting our oceans and marine wildlife has become ever more crucial.

And that is it for now. If you ever miss our show, you can find the latest episode shortly after it airs on our podcast. Remember, you can always

catch us online, on our website, and all-over social media.

Thank you for watching, and goodbye from London.