The Cleaners

Screenings

2018 Season
London, New York, Toronto

“The companies have more and more power…. They take advantage of our desire for ease, our resistance to effort, our resistance to challenge, and I think, over time, if we’re not already there, it will interfere with our ability to have critical thinking.” - David Kaye, UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression, film subject, The Cleaners 

Who controls what you see on the internet? Welcome to a hidden industry of digital cleaning where content determined to be inappropriate is deleted from the internet. This highly regarded documentary follows five “cleaners” in the Philippines whom social media giants, including Facebook and Twitter, hire to undertake the highly sensitive work of viewing and removing millions of images and videos from online platforms every day. Exposing the extreme and at times life-threatening impact of censorship capable of disappearing entire conversations, perspectives, and events from world view, The Cleaners expertly reveals how critics of the US president, activists in Turkey, and the Rohingya in Myanmar are affected by Silicon Valley’s control over free speech.

Official Selection, Sundance Film Festival 2018 

Please be advised this film contains material that may be disturbing to some viewers.

 

Filmmaker(s): 
Hans Block and Moritz Riesewieck
Year: 
2018
88m
Language(s): 
English, Tagalog
Genre: 
Documentary
Filmmaker Bio(s): 
Hans Block
Director

Hans Block (*1985) is a German theater director, filmmaker and musician. He studied music (drums) at the University of Arts in Berlin and theater directing at Ernst Busch Academy of Dramatic Arts in Berlin. In 2014, Block became resident director and member of the Artistic Direction of the Box at Schauspiel Frankfurt. Productions there included Mysterien – Unberechenbar werden by Knut Hamsun, Aufzeichnungen aus dem Kellerloch by Fjodor Dostojewski and Flankufuroto by Bonn Park. In 2014, he was invited to the festival “Radikal Jung“ at the Münchner Volkstheater with his production Austrian Psycho, which was awarded the Best Production Prize of the festival.
His radio drama production Don Don Don Quijote - Attackéee was awarded as best production of Prix Marulić 2015. Hans Block and Moritz Riesewieck work collaboratively under the label “Laokoon” named after the legendary Trojan seer who revealed the Trojan Horse as a dangerous fraud. In their works Riesewieck and Block aim to reveal the Trojan horses of our time. Their projects which they develop in various media forms start with investigations and end up as striking, complex narrations.

Moritz Riesewieck
Director

Moritz Riesewieck (*1985) is a German essay author, scriptwriter, theater- and film director. He studied theater directing at Ernst Busch Academy of Dramatic Arts in Berlin. Before he studied some semesters of Economics as a fellow of the German Academic Scholarship Foundation and worked as assistant director at Schaubuehne am Lehniner Platz in Berlin. In 2014 he staged the piece Woyzeck by Georg Buechner in Mexico City. His Spanish / German graduation production was invited to renowned Heidelberg Play Market. In 2016 Moritz Riesewieck was granted the state of Berlin’s Elsa Neumann Scholarship for his innovative theater works which were shown at festivals in Berlin and Hamburg and most recently at Theater Dortmund. In the same year Riesewieck presented a lecture performance about digital cleansing at re:publica Berlin and at Berliner Theatertreffen. His essay “Digital Dirt Work” was published by German publishing house dtv in September 2017.