The cleaners

Germany, Brazil, 2018, 88 min.


Hans Block,
Moritz Riesewieck


Beetz Filmproduktion Köln GmbH & Co. KG


Axel Schneppat, Max Preiss


gebrueder beetz filmproduktion

Enter a shadow industry of digital cleaning, where the Internet rids itself of what it doesn‘t like. We meet five “digital scavengers” whose job is to delete "inappropriate" content and people around the globe whose lives are dramatically affected by online censorship. A typical "cleaner" must observe and rate thousands of often deeply disturbing images and videos every day, leading to lasting psychological impacts. Yet underneath their work lie profound questions around what makes an image art or propaganda and what defines journalism. Where exactly is the point of balance for social media to be neither an unlegislated space nor a forum rife with censorship?


2018 Sundance IFF (USA) – Official Selection
HotDocs International Documentary FF (Canada) – Docs for Schools Official Selection
IFF Rotterdam (Netherlands) – Official Selection
CPH:DOX (Denmark)
IFF Docville (Belgium) – Official Selection Conscience
Hans Block - 1

Hans Block

A German theater director, filmmaker and musician. Studied music at the University of Arts in Berlin and theater directing at Ernst Busch Academy of Dramatic Arts in Berlin. In 2014 his production AUSTRIAN PSYCHO was awarded the Best Production Prize of the festival “Radikal Jung“ in Munich. Works together with Moritz Riesewieck under the label “Laokoon”, and their aim is to reveal the Trojan horses of our time. Their projects in various media forms start with investigations and end up as striking, complex narrations.

Selected filmography

2018 The cleaners

Moritz Riesewieck - 1

Moritz Riesewieck

A German essay author, scriptwriter, theater- and film director. Studied theater directing at Ernst Busch Academy of Dramatic Arts in Berlin. In 2014 he staged the piece WOYZECK by Georg Buechner in Mexico City. In 2016 he was granted the state of Berlin’s Elsa Neumann Scholarship for his innovative theater works. In the same year he 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 2017.

Selected filmography

2018 The cleaners