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World Views
9:31 am
Thu April 4, 2013

How Diplomacy Through Culture Can "Hold Up a Mirror" to Government

Helena Ayala (played by Catherine Zeta-Jones) encounters a DEA agent in Steven Soderbergh's 2000 film "Traffic"
Credit Focus Features / NBCUniversal

Amb. Cynthia Schneider's interview with Suzette Grillot and Joshua Landis

While serving as the U.S. Ambassador to the Netherlands in 2001, Cynthia Schneider used Hollywood to approach sensitive drug issues between American and Dutch officials.

Schneider invited embassy staffers focusing on drugs, and their counterparts in the Dutch Ministry of Justice, to a screening of Steven Soderbergh’s Oscar-winning film Traffic.

“It's a very powerful film that shows the intricacies of drug trafficking, and really shows how complicated it is,” Schneider says. “That was a fantastic experience because it kind of leveled the playing ground, and after seeing that film together we were able to have the most honest, direct conversation that we ever had, and really make progress.”

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