Film Archive


International Programme 2013
On the Art of War Luca Bellino, Silvia Luzi

The long struggle of a group of Italian workers for their factory: occupation, strike, and back-breaking civil war manoeuvres. A complex investigation between hot agitation and cold analysis.

On the Art of War

Documentary Film
85 minutes

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Giovanni Pompili, Margherita Di Paola, Claudia Antonucci
Luca Bellino, Silvia Luzi
Nicolò Mulas
Vania Tegamelli, Giorgio Carella
Luca Bellino
Luca Bellino, Silvia Luzi
Paolo Benvenuti, Stefano Grosso, Marzia Cordò
On 31 May 2008, a quiet and sunny Sunday, the staff of a heavy metal assembly plant in Milan-Lambrate met for a picnic. They had hardly unwrapped their sandwiches when a short message from the then current owner, who had bought the plant only in 2006, reached them: “We have decided to cease all activity as of 31 May 2008.”
Luca Bellino’s and Silvia Luzi’s film sheds light on the 50 workers’ long struggle, which started with the occupation of the facility on the same day, led to continued production under a worker’s management and, after the factory was cleared by the police for the first time, resulted in an open-ended strike in front of the factory gates to prevent the secret removal of the machinery. Finally, on 2 August 2009, a large number of police attacked the strikers in a civil war-like operation, upon which five of them seized an industrial crane on the grounds and occupied it for several weeks. The activists’ determination triggered a broad wave of international support and attracted a lot of media attention, which finally contributed to a long-term resolution of this conflict. Bellino and Luzi manage to create a complex cinematic investigation of an intense, real-life example of anarcho-syndicalist theory and practice in Italy, supremely balanced between hot agitation and cold analysis.

Ralph Eue