‘Ocean’s Thirteen’ aims to aid Darfur

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By Daniel Segraves

By Daniel Segraves

The Easter Bunny is nothing more than a cute piece of chocolate, Santa Clause is your egg-nogged dad in a suit, and the movie industry lives and dies by the almighty dollar. These are things you learn early on in life, and there’s just no changing them.

Until George Clooney and his merry men decide otherwise.

The situation in Darfur has become worse over time. As Clooney’s website, notonourwatch.org, claims, “everyday the situation is deteriorating.”

Clooney has been in the public eye for some time now supporting the fight against the Sudanese genocide. But now, the Hollywood icon has a crew of big-name actors behind him as well as the buzz of one of the biggest movies of the year.

Clooney’s not the only leading man in the group who has spent time trying to help others. Pitt has been spending a majority of his time to help rebuild New Orleans in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. Recently, Pitt and wife Angelina Jolie also donated one million dollars to three different groups aimed toward rescuing those who have been displaced in Darfur.

The idea is simple: every movie with the caliber of “Ocean’s Thirteen” gets huge press buzz. There are media outlets exploding with commercials and live events promoting the movie. So, as Clooney and his counterparts Matt Damon, Don Cheadle and Brad Pitt decided, why not use that media coverage to do some good for those who need it?

Now there are countless fundraisers in the works, including several premiere events. The first of these events will be a special fundraiser at the famed Cannes Film Festival. Clooney and his friends will host a special launch party for Not On Our Watch May 22 followed by the first screening of the film at the festival May 24.

This is an ingenious way for Clooney to get things done. He’s gone to numerous countries searching for assistance in helping alleviate the crisis in Darfur. He has even pleaded his case at the U.N. and the reception so far seems to be luke-warm, at best.

So, as Clooney has discovered, why not use a media that neglects the needs of humanity to your own gain? By making a blockbuster movie and… well, by being George Clooney, the actor and his allies have found a way to get the message out to the public.

The only thing worse than having to go to such extremes is the fact that Clooney had to go around the United Nations to get something done. There’s the ‘what the hell?’ moment of the summer: Clooney and a collection of America’s greatest movie stars are bypassing the United Nations to save a war-torn region of the earth.

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