Toronto-George Clooney has said he “felt sick” while directing some scenes in his new movie Suburbicon .

The film’s plot sees a black family move into a predominantly white suburban community in the 1950s.

“The trickiest part [of shooting] was, we were in a very racially diverse neighbourhood in Fullerton, California,” Clooney said. “And we had about 350 extras who were going to hurl a lot of racial slurs and say a lot of pretty terrible things.”

Clooney added: “Everybody who was making the film, we all just felt sick while we were doing it.”

Referring to the way the family is treated in the film, the director said: “These are things that happened - [neighbours] sang church hymns, they hung confederate flags over the fence, they built a fence around their house, these are things that really happened.

“But it was sickening to be part of it quite honestly, so that was one of the most difficult things to shoot.”

The movie, which is currently showing as part of the Toronto Film Festival, was conceived during the run up to the US election of November 2016, which was won by Donald Trump.

Clooney said: “We’d seen some things on the campaign trail where they were talking about building fences, and scapegoating Mexicans and Muslims, and we’re always reminded that these aren’t new things and new moments in our history. “So we thought it would be interesting to talk about it, but we wanted the film to be entertaining, not a documentary, we didn’t want it to be an eat-your-spinach piece of filmmaking.