Open City Documentary Festival

7 – 13 September 2022
in London

The Trial + Q&A

Location ICA, Director Sergei Loznitsa, Country Netherlands, Duration 125, Previous Festivals & Awards Venice Film Festival 2018, Toronto International Film Festival 2018, Karlovy Vary International Film Festival 2019, DOK Leipzig 2018, Cinéma du Réel 2019 & more, Date Event has passed

Sergei Loznitsa’s found footage documentary is comprised of painstakingly researched and restored archival material from one of Joseph Stalin’s first show trials, recorded in Moscow in 1930. The trial and its consequences are real, but the crime is fake – a spectacle concocted as a display of the government’s power over the population. The accused—charged with forming a secret pact to restore capitalism and fracture the USSR—are forced to confess to crimes they never committed. Illuminating the perils of authoritarianism whilst undermining the inherent theatricality of its propagandistic machinery, The Trial is a fascinating historical document with considerable contemporary resonance.

UK Premiere

Followed by a Q&A with director Sergei Loznitsa, hosted by Jonathan Romney, a film critic who writes for Sight & Sound, Film Comment, The Observer and others. Romney is also Visiting Lecturer at the National Film and Television School.

In partnership with ICA

Read an essay on The Trial by Patrick Gamble