Review: ‘Black Block’

A powerful recounting of events, guaranteed to open the eyes of anyone still harboring fuzzy notions of the infamous police response to the 2001 G8 summit riots in Genoa.

There’s no shortage of docus about the infamous police response to the 2001 G8 summit riots in Genoa, and while Carlo A. Bachschmidt hasn’t broken any ground with “Black Block,” he’s put together a powerful recounting of events, guaranteed to open the eyes of anyone still harboring fuzzy notions of what happened in those July days and nights. Well-edited interviews with seven international activists who experienced first-hand the cops’ disproportionate ferocity make for riveting and disturbing viewing. Locally, the docu is being released as a DVD-book package with extras; offshore doc fests are likely takers.

Bachschmidt doesn’t bring anything especially cinematic to the table, offering a straightforward retelling of the riots with special concentration on the night of July 21, when activists asleep in the Diaz school were violently attacked by police, who then hauled them to a detention center for brutal interrogations before transporting them to prison (producer Domenico Procacci is also behind Daniele Vicari’s G8-themed feature “Diaz,” skedded for a 2012 release). Editing is sharp, unlike some of the rough amateur footage from the riots, though it’s still painfully clear what’s happening. Music should be toned down.

Black Block

Docu - Italy

Production

A Fandango production. (International sales: Fandango Portobello, London.) Produced by Domenico Procacci. Directed, written by Carlo A. Bachschmidt.

Crew

Camera (color, HD), Stefano Barabino, Harald Erschbaumer; editor, Alessandro Pantano; music, Francesco Cerasi. Reviewed at the Politecnico Fandango, Rome, Aug. 24, 2011. (In Venice Film Festival -- Controcampo Italiano.) Running time: 77 MIN.

With

Ulrich Reichel, Lena Zuhlke, Niels Martensen, Mina Zapatero, Michael Gieser, Daniel McQuillan, Chabi Nogueras. (German, English, Spanish dialogue)

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