Italian producer Domenico Procacci on Thursday announced the long-gestating police brutality project, Diaz — Don’t Clean Up This Blood, will go into production next week for a 10-week shoot between Romania and the Italian city of Genoa.
Directed by Daniele Vicari, the film is inspired by true-life events surrounding violent police raids at a Genoa school that served as headquarters for peaceful protesters and members of the independent media during the 2001 Italy-hosted G8. On the night of July 21, 2001 the protesters, mostly non-Italians, were violently attacked and many critically wounded, including, among others, UK journalist Mark Covell, who famously sustained serious injuries and was unconscious for 14 hours.
The film’s title refers to the blood spattered walls of the Diaz school after the nighttime attack. “Outside of Italy most don’t remember what happened those days,” explained Procacci. “Some remember that there was a death (during the G8, (the young protester) Carlo Giuliani – almost no one knows what happened at the Diaz school. Since what happened regards many people that are not Italians, I think it is even more important to tell the story in a certain way and I hope we will be able to (do the story justice).”
Despite its theme, Procacci says Diaz is not an “anti-police” film. However, he conceded the events left a type of un healed “fracture” between citizens and police, due to the over use of aggression in those days and the results of ensuing trials.
In fact, the production kicks off in tandem with a book, launched today, and also published by Fandango, entitled Diaz Processo Alla Polizia (Diaz, Police Trail), written by journalist Alessandro Mantovani. The book chronicles the police trials, the results of which sparked outrage when in November 2008, highest-level officers were cleared of all charges that they masterminded a raid, while junior officers were sentenced but never served jail time.
Amnesty International called the trial results “The most serious suspension of human rights in western country since the second world war.”
Procacci said both projects, the book and the film, were inspired by those results and discussions begun the “day after” the November 2008 verdicts.
Procacci described Mantovani’s book as a “simple and logical” in style - that avoided delving into abstract ideals.
Mantovani’s book is therefore separate from the film but the two seem to complete a bigger goal of Procacci’s and his Fandango label that aims at making films with a social conscious. After the success of Matteo Garrone’s Gomorrah (which Procacci produced and which was based on the Roberto Saviano Mafia expose), served as proof that the public responds to works with deep social content.
The film has a budget of $10m (E7m). The ensemble cast will portray characters inspired on the real-life individuals caught up in the G8 violence and includes Claudio Santamaria, Elio Germanno and Pippo Delbono from Italy as well as German actress Jennifer Ulrich, Romania’s Monica Barladeanu, Pietro Ragusa from the UK and France’s Emilie De Preissac.