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// Films // Black Block

Black Block

Carlo A. Bachschmidt / Italy / 2011 / 77 ' / Italian / S.T. English


Alessandro Pantano
Carlo A. Bachschmidt
Stefano Barabino & Harald Erschbaumer
Francesco Cerasi
Domenico Procacci, Laura Paolucci & Carlo A. Bachschmidt
Art Direction: Carlo A. Bachschmidt

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Awards & Festivals

Official Selection: Human Rights Watch Film Festival, 2012
Official Selection: International Documentary Festival Amsterdam, 2011
Official Selection: Venice International Film Festival, 2011

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Harrowing testimony from victims of police brutality at Genoa's 2001 G8 protests.


Repression is part and parcel of democracy – a power system that, while it needs legitimacy and consensus, also requires control, and constant redefining of the limits within which to be “free citizens.” It is often necessary to counter the enemy to the point of making it inoffensive. Genoa’s G8 Summit in 2001 demonstrated this in the fiercest of ways.

As the G8 Summit drew to a close and the press and politicians had departed, 300 riot police stormed the Diaz School looking for members of the infamous Black Block. They found instead young activists, mostly students, teenagers and journalists from around Europe preparing to bunk down in the school gym. Undeterred, they unleashed a calculated frenzy of violence, beating both young and old, male and female indiscriminately. Those seriously injured were rushed to the hospital in ambulances, though soon after they were forced to join those who had been arrested and driven to the Bolzaneto detention centre where they were subjected to further abuse and degradation.

Through Lena and Niels (Hamburg), Chabi (Zaragoza), Mina (Paris), Dan (London), Michael (Nice), and Muli (Berlin), Black Block aims to restore the testimony of those who experienced for themselves the violence in the raid on the Diaz school and their subsequent torture.

Several of them chose to return to Genoa for the trials of the police officers involved. Amnesty International called the results trials “The most serious suspension of human rights in western country since the second world war.”


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