Black Bloc: a story of violence and love

This is a short film (documentary or fiction?) about the tactic Black Bloc.

As the director, Noé, does, I might not share all the Black Bloc’s views (if I had an attorney, he would advise me to say this, I guess). Some people will say it incites violence; in fact, it was disqualified in the cinema festival where it was submitted for that reason.

If 5000 persons demonstrate peacefully, no media will talk about it. But if you have only 50 Black Bloc, amongst them, breaking some corporate property, the whole media world will talk about it. (…)
And of course, pacifism is better; but when it doesn’t work, what do you do? (…)
All I’m saying is: give violence a chance.

This is what the main character in the film says, and her argument has strength. If rulers don’t let any peaceful exit, people only have two choices: passivity or violence. During most of the time, most people chooses passivity and resignation. But not always, as history shows a lot of times. This is the great danger, that the current suicide politics is causing.

However, two objections can be made. The first is a moral objection, is it moral to use violence to get legitimate targets? A lot of people would say it isn’t, although the girl in the film claims that “this tactic consists in attacking banks and corporate property and only those. To destroy or steal property of a brother or sister is evil.” Really it’s not easy to criticise violence against banks with moral arguments.

The second objection is more pragmatic: violence scare people, and so any protest or movement will lose support if violence appears.

Anyway, it’s a good film whether or not you totally agree with the girl in the film. It’s short, only three minutes, but three frenetic minutes. If you don’t understand Portuguese, you’ll need to watch it twice: first reading English subtitles and second watching the images, or vice versa.


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