DIAZ: DON’T CLEAN UP THIS BLOOD (Daniele Vicari). 127 minutes. Some subtitles. Opens Friday (July 12). For venues and times, see Movies. Rating: NN
In July of 2001, authorities in Genoa, Italy, responded to reports of an assault on a police cruiser by G8 protesters by raiding the Diaz School in search of black bloc activists. It didn't matter that the school was being used as a sleeping space by students, legal aid workers, unaffiliated protesters and a journalist or two. The police wanted a show of force after looking ineffective in the face of public protest, and Diaz was a convenient target.
In Diaz: Don't Clean Up This Blood, Italian director Daniele Vicari recreates the horrific assault in vivid, brutal colour, following multiple characters on all sides of the incident in a fashion similar to Bloody Sunday and Battle In Seattle, which remain the high-water marks for this sort of project. Those films found room for vivid characterizations within the chaos. Diaz: Don't Clean Up This Blood doesn't quite manage that.
The raid on Diaz would lead to criminal indictments against 29 officers and expose a political structure more interested in causing pain than catching actual offenders, but Vicari isn't interested in the fallout, just in showing us what happened in the 24 hours surrounding the raid.
And by employing a largely pointless time-shifting structure to cycle back and repeat events from multiple perspectives, he mutes the horror of the incident and turns his film into a showpiece for his own supposed artistry.