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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
In Late April 2009, I got a call in London to come to Genova to meet several mystery guests who wanted to meet me and several of the other Diaz victims. I was coming anyway to see Dr Zucca (The Genova prosecutor) but I was intrigued to find out who the mystery guests were. I met Domenico Procacci and Daniele Vicari in Genova at the Via San Luca office (where the Diaz case is archived) in late May for a 'secret weekend meeting' after the Cannes Film Festival.
At the time, I did not know who Procacci and Vicari were but I was told they were the best film producer and director in Italy and they wanted to make a movie of the raid on Diaz during the G8. I had seen Gomorrah, Procacci's mafia film and thought it was brilliant. Using this film as a comparison, I listened to what Domenico wanted to say to all of us present. Procacci explained to us that he had wanted to make a multi-million euro film about the raid for a long time but had been prevented because the trial process against the police.
He was willing to risk a lot of money on the project and we could all see that Domenico and Daniele were committed to making the movie. I personally told them that whilst I had a lot of personal confidence, I thought the Diaz police would try and stop the project or the right ring politicians like Berlusconi or Fini my sue Fandango. I also told them that Diaz is still live court case and that they had to do a lot of research.
After all of us from Diaz consulted with each other, we gave Domenico Procacci and Daniele Vicari permission to make the film. All of us were taking a risk allowing a production company like fandango access to the video evidence & photos and documents involved in the trial. However, we all felt that the story of the raid and what we had lived through had to be told to the rest of the world.
What is unusual about the Diaz movie was that there was no script in existence, so Fandango commissioned Laura Paolucci to spend two years writing a script. The end result is a pulp fiction style film which is 80% true to the story of Diaz. Obviously, Vicari could not go into detail about the entire G8 which forms the backdrop for the beginning of the film but I think Vicari has done an almost perfect job of marrying together true events with a few high drama fictional characters.
I think the combination of powerful high impact footage, recreated scenes and the chance of lifting the lift on the inside of the anti-globalization movement makes Diaz the movie a special film. The 2001 G8 was the biggest and worst riot in Europe in 60 years. To complete the film, Vicari has combined the usual high quality style of Italian film screening to capture this important moment of history, making it one of the best, most talked about and most controversial films to come out of Italy in 20 years.
Only after the film had premiered in Berlin did I learn that Procacci had said that Diaz had been his most challenging and complicated film to make with Vicari in agreement.
My story is played by an Italian actor Pietro Ragusa and my almost death is one of the penultimate scenes in the movie. Because I ran out of Diaz, I took the full force of Canterini's unit, the 7th Mobile heavy riot unit that had specially trained for the Genova G8 summit. Pietro's part is almost as it exactly happened and I am very happy despite the scene is one of the most harrowing.
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