“Things have really started to escalate in the last five years,” warned Julia von Heinz, the German director of “And Tomorrow the Entire World”, the story of an idealist law student who flirts with violence as a way of stopping the rapid rise of the extreme right.
She claimed there was a risk that “Antifa” groups frustrated by the lack of state action could take the matter into their own hands.
“We have too often the feeling that connections between the police and army and the right-wing structures are too tight,” von Heinz told reporters.
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“If there is mistrust people start to get violent themselves,” she added.
Von Heinz and her actors wore masks carrying the names of people killed by far-right groups in Germany to a press conference before the premiere.
“We all know the names of the murderers, but we want to remember the victims who did nothing wrong other than having the wrong colour of skin, being disabled, or speaking out against neo-fascism,” she told reporters.
Von Heinz said it was dangerous that more people in democracies seemed to be “looking for very easy answers” to their problems.
She added that an anti-face mask rally in Berlin last week that led to far-right activists attempting to storm the Reichstag building was typical of this search.
The director, who is vying for Venice's top Golden Lion prize, said the march allowed “a strange mix of people – nationalists, hippies and esoterics – to protest together under a easy populist slogan.”
An antifa activist herself in the 1990s, von Heinz said her film was not at all autobiographical.
But she did draw from her own experience in the movement, which she argued is now more diverse than it was then.