Actor-director George Clooney’s “Good Night, and Good Luck” won critical acclaim at the Venice Film Festival last week for its portrayal of broadcast journalist Edward R. Murrow and his fight against the anticommunist paranoia sweeping 1950s America.

The film portrays a famous on-air conflict between Murrow and the anticommunist Senator Joe McCarthy.

The harrowing anticommunist past is relevant for today, according to Clooney. “The Patriot Act is going to be voted on in October, so it’s an interesting time to be involved in a debate over whether fear should be used to take away some of our civil liberties,” he said.