Monday, June 4, 2012

Diaz:Don't Clean Up This Blood (2012) Open Roads 2012

Heart on it's sleeve look at the chaos the occurred in 2001 when protesters clashed with police in Genoa during the G8 conference months before the world changed on 9/11. The film's title comes from the name of the school where the protesters were headquartered and that the police stormed in what amounted to a massacre.The school name is combined with a message left by one of the survivors. Taking the multi-character approach the film follows various characters, protesters, police, officials, people in the street and shows us what transpired one terrible night in Genoa...and in the jails and hospitals afterward as the abuse continued.

This is a brutal nasty look at a moment when official cruelty and violence was completely unleashed. I warn you the film is not for the squeamish. believe me, when the the police wade into the school it's as ugly an sequence as you've ever seen on film. Your hair will remain curled as you watch as the terrible treatment continued when people were brought to jail and hospital.

In many ways this is a must see film... in others I wish it were better. It's not that it's a bad film, it's not. It's just that on some level the film never completely pulled me into it.

On the must see level the film is a chilling chronicle of what happened 11 years ago. Its a film that clearly shows what unchecked police powers can lead to. It's a cautionary tale that everyone should be aware of since you never know when something horrible like this will happen again. While it may be some consolation that some of the people involved in the violence have been charged the cases are still pending in the courts with some charges potentially going to go the way of the wind when time runs. You will be horrified.

On the down side the film is too big a tale for such a compact telling. There are so many characters and there is so much going on as the film jumps backward and forward through time that it becomes hard to know who is who and what is what. Worse the film is so strident in it's need to tell you what its showing you is bad everything feels screamed at you instead of being told to you.

Police are bad, protesters are good. This was a horrible thing that happened. Yes I know that but what lead up to this? Why did this happen? Some answers are given, but while they are probably on target they also seem to be told so quickly and so shrilly shouted(in a manner of speaking) that I never felt I knew enough. In away it's like watching TV news footage of the event with only slightly more background then we'd get from a TV news anchor.

Again I don't hate or dislike the film, I just really wanted it to be better.

Definitely worth seeing,especially if you want to feel outrage.

Screening Friday at 9PM at Lincoln Center.

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