The Trial (O processo)

NAME OF FILM: THE TRIAL (O PROCESSO)

DIRECTOR(S): Sergei Loznitsa

STARRING: Aleksandr Aleksandrovitch Fedotov, Ivan Andreevitch Kalinnikow, Nikolai Krylenko

GENRE: Documentary Film

SYNOPSIS: In 1930 the USSR witnessed the beginnings of what would become the Stalin show trials. Top-ranking economists and engineers are accused of plotting a coup d’état. Unusual for the time, the court proceedings are recorded on camera, thus giving rise to one of the first Soviet sound films. Yet these aren’t documentaries, as it might appear, but fictional accounts. The charges are fabricated and the confessions are false, but the sentences are real, their aim to intimidate innocent people and incite them against each other. Loznitsa makes use of archive footage to create an explicitly topical image of terror, in which victims and murderers act with equal fearlessness. His sophisticated conception provides a vivid picture of a historical moment and the devastating cyclicity of social moods.