This is a furious, angry Italian film about the abuses committed by police in Genoa during 2001’s G8 summit – which attracted hundreds of thousands of protesters to the city. On the night of July 21, scores of heavily-armed police officers stormed the Armando Diaz school, which was being used largely as an independent media centre, on the pretext that violent protesters were hiding inside. Those same police officers then violently attacked many of the people they found inside the building and continued to subject some of them to similar degradations after they were arrested and detained in local police stations and prisons. It took until 2010 for a number of police officers to be convicted for grievous bodily harm, libel and falsifying evidence.
At the heart of ‘Diaz: Don’t Clean Up This Blood’ is a righteous, infuriating, often sickening reconstruction of the raid on the Diaz school. The filmmakers spare no truncheon blow, so it’s not an easy watch, although the violence feels justified, just to transmit the horror of what happened. The film also has a ring of journalistic integrity to it, helped by the inclusion of real video footage shot on the night. Less successful is the film’s attempt to offer clear context to the wider gathering in Genoa, and some of the storytelling, characterisation and performances are too heavy-handed to convince fully as drama.