Italy, Romania, France


In 2001, on the last day of the G8 summit in Genoa, just before midnight, more than 300 police officers stormed the Diaz School, looking for black bloc demonstrators. Inside the school were 90 activists, mostly students from around Europe along with a handful of foreign journalists, preparing to bunk down for the night on the school’s floors. As the police burst in, the young demonstrators raised their hands to surrender. Undeterred and unmoved, the officers unleashed a calculated frenzy of violence, beating both young and old, male and female indiscriminately. DIAZ: DON’T CLEAN UP THIS BLOOD reconstructs the events of those terrible days from the viewpoints of the police, the protesters, the victims and the journalists who were caught up in the tragedy to analyse how frustration can explode into raw, uncontrollable violence. Vicari’s visceral, dynamic filmmaking drops the viewer into the dark heart of politics and reminds you through the inclusion of original footage taken at the scene that this may be a film but it is not fiction.

Director's Statement

The Genoa G8 Summit, held in July 2001, was an enormous event. Involving heads of state from the G8 and Outreach Five countries, it attracted hundreds of thousands of demonstrators from around the world, and deployed numbers of law enforcement officers never seen before in Italy. Thousands of video activists, television cameramen, law enforcement video operators, photographers and film directors filmed the weekend’s events: every encounter, every meeting, every broken shop window, every charge by the police. About a thousand hours of video footage and photographs are on record in the Genoa Legal Forum’s archives. Everything was documented − everything except what happened in the Diaz School and in the Bolzaneto barracks. The events at Diaz and Bolzaneto resulted in two long, dramatic trials, which as of writing this document have yet to reach their conclusions. Reading the records (wmj.processig8.org) is upsetting − it literally keeps the reader awake at night, casting a sinister shadow over our democracy. And it throws into doubt a deeply rooted cliché that says certain things can only happen under authoritarian political regimes. This is why I immediately thought I would like to look these things right in the eye and understand them on a deeper level − because they concern me; they are part of my life as an Italian and European citizen. It is true that a handful of the so-called “black bloc” laid waste to shops and set cars on fire, causing major damage. But on this basis, the decision was made that about a hundred people − unidentified and thus not automatically to blame for the devastation − should be rounded up in a school, legally granted to the Genoa Social Forum, to pay the price. The decision to proceed was made by methods that set our democracy 80 years back. But even if everyone there had been dyed-in-the wool black bloc militant, based on what rules could an initiative of this kind have been taken? And based on what democratic principles? To pursue crimes against property, does the state have the right to commit such grave crimes against people? With hindsight, I also wonder: did Genoa 2001 not perhaps mark the beginning of a profound social and institutional crisis that, in a decade of “political fantasy”, brought Italy to the brink of the precipice?

Cast & Crew

Directed by: Daniele Vicari

Written by: Daniele Vicari, Céline Sallette

Produced by: Domenico Procacci

Cinematography: Gherardo Gossi

Editing: Corinne Masiero

Production Design: Marta Maffucci

Original Score: Teho Teardo

Cast: Davide Iacopini (Marco), Ralph Amoussou (Etienne), Fabrizio Rongione (Nick Janssen), Renato Scarpa (Enzo Vitali), Jennifer Ulrich (Alma Koch), Claudio Santamaria (Max Flamini), Elio Germano (Luca Gualtieri)

Nominations and Awards

  • Feature Film Selection 2012