Keanu Reeves, Francis Ford Coppola, Alfonso Cuarón, Spike Lee, and others are voicing support for Italian cinema collective Cinema America, which had four members of its organization physically attacked by an alleged alt-right organization following a screening of Paul Schrader’s First Reformed.
Cinema America, also known as Piccolo America (little America), is based in the Roman neighborhood of Trastevere and is known for free outdoor film screenings. Italian media reports its members were allegedly attacked for wearing t-shirts bearing the collective’s name, which the assailants viewed as “anti-fascist” clothing. They were beaten when they did not comply with an order to remove their shirts.
Italian media said the June 16 attack was made by a member of a youth wing of Italy’s neo-fascist CasaPound political party, which goes by the name Blocco Studentesco.
Reeves and others have signed a statement from Cinema America that was issued Thursday. The organization first released the statement on its Facebook page
The Guardian media outlet translated the statement 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.”
Guillermo del Toro, Stephen Frears and actors Willem Dafoe Jeremy Irons, Debra Winger, Richard Gere and John Malkovich have also signed the letter of support.