The Cleaners

Cinema Documentary, 90 minutes, Germany 2017/2018

Production: gebrueder beetz Filmproduction, Christian Beetz
Director: Hans Block and Moritz Riesewieck
Producer: Georg Tschurtschenthaler
Cinematography: Axel Schneppat, Max Preiss
Editor: Philipp Gromov, Hans-Jörg Weissbrich, Markus CM Schmidt
Studio Mitte: Audio Postproduction: Sound Mixing: Jörg Höhne, Sounddesign: Karl Gerhard, Atmophere Design: Laura Mattisek, Foley-Editing: Erik Petzold, Colorgrading-Facilities, DCP-Mastering, Inhouse Producer: Ute Aichele, DI-Supervisor: Tobias Schaarschmidt, Technical Support: Steffen Görner

About the film
Dive into a secret, third-world shadow industry of online content moderation. Here we meet five “digital scavengers,” a handful of thousands of people outsourced from Silicon Valley, whose job is to delete “inappropriate” content off of the internet. In a parallel struggle, we meet people around the globe whose lives are dramatically affected by online censorship. A typical “cleaner” must observe and rate thousands of intense images every day, from war zone photography to pornography, leading to lasting psychological impacts. Yet underneath their work lie profound questions around what makes an image art or propaganda and what defines journalism.

The Cleaners reveals the bitter reality that social media is as much a tool for expression as it is a platform for radicalized social and political opinions, the impacts of which are still unknown. Debut directors Hans Block and Moritz Riesewieck unpack an urgent conversation surrounding Silicon Valley’s control over our perception of free speech that we must all grapple with as it threatens to unravel the fabric of our society: both online and IRL.

Sundance Filmfestival, 2018- world premiere
International Filmfestival Rotterdam, 2018- europe premiere
Zürich Filmfestival
Docs MX Mexico International Filmfestival
Astra Filmfestival
DOK.fest Munich
Nominated for PRIX EUROPA