Keanu Reeves supports Rome cinema collective attacked by far right

Hollywood names including Keanu Reeves, Willem Dafoe and Alejandro González Iñárritu have come out in support of an Italian cinema collective who have become a target of the far right.

Cinema America, which organises free outdoor movie screenings in Rome, has issued a message of support on its Facebook page after four people were attacked following a showing of the Paul Schrader film First Reformed. The message reads in Italian: “It is unacceptable that there is still someone that thinks they can impose their view through the use of violence … We can’t accept a wound of this kind, inflicted not only to the world of art and cinema but to the whole world.” The letter was also signed by the directors Alfonso Cuarón, Spike Lee, Guillermo del Toro, and Stephen Frears and the actors Jeremy Irons, Debra Winger, Richard Gere and John Malkovich.

Reports in the Italian media suggest that at least one of the men accused of perpetrating the attack on 16 June belong to the far-right Blocco Studentesco (Students’ Bloc), the youth wing of the neo-fascist CasaPound political party.

In an interview with Indiewire, Cinema America’s founder, Valerio Carocci, said: “We are under attack because we can talk to the vast majority of people in a very bipartisan way. It is pretty clear that all over the world right now, there is some message going on that the use of private violence is OK.”

Schrader, who also signed the letter, said: “What’s happening here is something that is very reminiscent of what was happening almost 50 years ago, where a cinema movement is morphing into a political movement.”