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Inez Bjørg David
July 2001. 200,000 protesters, consisting mainly of anti-globalization activists and anarchists of the Black Bloc) try to prevent the G8 summit from taking place in Genoa. The authorities, determined not to let them achieve their aim, give a free hand to the anti-riot police in the matter of repression. The Police superintendent decides a nighttime raid upon the Diaz school, used as a sleeping quarter and a center for those providing media, medical, and legal support work. The film tells about the ordeal put through by all those who slept or worked there, courtesy of the barbarous Police forces, complete with furious baton attacks and shameless humiliation following arrests. Written by
Seriously. I walked out of it somewhat disorientated and still shaken. I saw 'Diaz - Don't clean up this Blood' about a month ago at its Berlinale Screening and it still haunts me. I could tell that most of the audience shared my feelings and some even left the cinema, because they couldn't bear what they were seeing. Nevertheless the applause was extraordinary.
We have all seen our fair share of violence and cruelty in the movies. But this is a completely different pair of shoes. The non-fictional background of the film plot concerns me personally, both as a human being and as an European citizen. It's hard to imagine this happened ten years ago in a Western European country and yet it DID happen and it could - and probably will - happen again. That's why it is so important to deal with the topic of police violence instead of ignoring it or playing it down. The film crew and cast did a great job capturing the horror of this disastrous event. And that's what 'Diaz' mainly seems to be about: re-creating and contextualizing the occurred violations of human rights in 2001 in Italy as authentic and accurate as it can be done in a feature film.
It obviously wants you to be shocked, but with good reasons: it describes shocking incidents, which should not be trivialized. If you do some research, you'll find out that the film indeed does not exaggerate anything. But it does NOT inform you about the political background, you have to inform yourself. And I think you will, after you've seen it.
'Diaz' is not entirely flawless, but it could be a film of great significance, provided that it motivates the audience to read up on the subject.
If you're interested in a less gripping, but much more informative approach on the matter, check out the documentary "The Summit" (2012).
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