The Secret Hand talks about the control, repression, infiltration and manipulation carried out by the STASI, the feared and pervasive security service of the former GDR, against artists and artistic groups who were not considered aligned with the doctrines of the state. When we speak of the "hand of the artist" we mean his trait, his stylistic code, and by extension his poetics. In the former East Germany there was often another hand, secret, underhanded, which was added to that of the artists, forcing them to operate in directions more pleasing to power. The documentary narrates these subtle and advanced forms of censorship starting from the contents of the secret STASI files, to discover how the censor thinks through the papers he has produced.

The film wants to tell some of these stories of conditioning, of ambiguous exercise of authority, to stimulate an ever-present reflection on freedom of expression and on the relationship between art and power. It reconstructs and recounts the paternalistically disciplinary, obtusely punitive or subtly polluting intervention of power, but also the irrepressible vitality and human and creative ability to circumvent censorship and deceive the repressor by exploiting the contradictions and inconsistencies of the system, developing strategies and practices of movement and authentic expression in the space saturated by the iron will to control power, making use of any space, even narrow, left available.

Gianluca Falanga, Valerio Valente, Enrico Cannizzo
Gianluca Falanga, Valerio Valente, Enrico Cannizzo
con il sostegno di Film Commission Torino Piemonte - Piemonte Doc Film Fund - sviluppo dicembre 2022
Last update: 18 July 2023