July 1st, 1997. An elderly man arrives in Italy on a flight from Paris. The special forces of the Carabinieri immediately arrest him. Antonio Negri had returned voluntarily to his home country after 15 years of exile. The newspaper Liberation hails it as, "The return of the Devil"
Over the years few intellectuals have experienced as much admiration and hatred, or as much praise and rejection, as Antonio Negri. His book Empire, coauthored with Michael Hardt, was an international bestseller. A critical analysis of the new global economy, it was hailed as a bold new manifesto for the 21st century and overnight it turned Negri into a leading spokesperson for the international anti-globalization movement.
ANTONIO NEGRI-A REVOLT THAT NEVER ENDS profiles the controversial life and times of this university professor, philosopher, militant, prisoner, refugee, and so-called 'enemy of the state.' It traces Negri's roots in the history of radical left-wing movements in Italy during the Sixties and Seventies, illustrated through archival footage of workers' strikes, factory occupations, terrorist actions, violent street confrontations, political repression, and government trials of dissidents.
During these tumultuous decades, finding himself branded as an evil ideologue with alleged ties to the Red Brigades terrorist group, Negri spent ten years in prison and fourteen years in exile in Paris, where he contributed to philosophical debates with authors such as Deleuze and Guattari. The film features interviews with Negri, conducted following his April 2003 release from confinement, as well as public speaking appearances at seminars and protest demonstrations, plus commentary from his coauthor Michael Hardt, and Italian and French colleagues.
Against the backdrop of scenes of recent anti-globalization protests, Negri discusses the dangers of the economic, cultural and legal transformations being wrought by the forces of globalization as well as the opportunities to resist these changes. ANTONIO NEGRI explores this visionary theoretician's lifelong political struggle, now being expressed in works of contemporary relevance such as Empire and its sequel, Multitude: War and Democracy in the Age of Empire, a powerful intellectual project in protest of the new global order.
photography: Dietmar Ratsch
editing: Evi Romen, Katia Copynie
producer: Christian Beetz
production: Gebrueder Beetz Filmproduktion, Berlin
in coproduktion with: ZDF/ARTE, SVT (S), YLE (SF)
funded by: der Kulturstiftung des Bundes, Medien- und Filmgesellschaft Baden-Württemberg
TV-sales: Fox International, Greece TV, TV Denmark, TV Catalunia
cinema and DVD distribution: Neue Visionen Filmverleih
"A rich--nearly Hollwoodian--cache of biographical material... assembled with great skill and obvious passion. Crackles with unexpected twists and is braced by lucid excurses on Negri's political theories... Great!" - Cineaste, NY
"A magnificent and much needed illumination." - Telérama