Rics Speak with Filmmakers Norma Percy & Tim Stirzaker
About the New Film on Brexit and the Migration Crisis
in EuropeSmithsonian Channel’s new documentary film, Europe in Chaos, explores the origins of Brexit and the Migration Crisis, two factors that divided the European nations and plunged them into their biggest political catastrophe since World War II.
The first hour, BREXIT, tells the story of how British Prime Minister David Cameron – who favored remaining in the EU – caved to his party and called a referendum that resulted in Britain withdrawing from the European Union, a decision that shocked the world.
The second hour, MIGRATION CRISIS, shows how European leaders desperately struggled to address one of the century’s greatest humanitarian crises: the influx of hundreds of thousands of refugees arriving in Europe from Syria and North Africa. The crisis exposes a sharp division between East and West, with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and others offering sanctuary while Eastern European countries argue fiercely to send the migrants back.
Ric talks with Norma Percy, the series producer and Tim Stirzaker, its director, who persuaded many of Europe’s top leaders to reveal extraordinary inside stories for the documentary. These leaders give previously unpublished insights into their negotiations as they struggled to deal with crises that threatened to tear the European Union apart.
Quotes from the documentary:
Francois Hollande, former President of France:
“I said to Angela Merkel, ‘The migrants and refugees keep on coming. It’s an exceptional situation. We need to control the borders.’”
Donald Tusk, President of the European Council:
“I told David Cameron bluntly, ‘Come on, get real. I know that all Prime Ministers are promising to help you, but believe me the truth is that no-one has an appetite for revolution in Europe only because of your stupid referendum. If you try to force us, to hurry us, you will lose everything.’ And for the first time, I saw something close to fear in his eyes. He finally realized what a challenge he was facing.”
Nicolas Sarkozy, former President of France:
“This is the problem with the English: they think that alone, they have more influence than by working with Europe. They’re wrong.”
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