2/27 Film Screening: Sergei Loznitsa’s The Trial

Sergei Loznitsa’s The Trial


Wednesday, February 27
4:30 – 7:30 p.m.
Neubauer Collegium


The Trial (2018), a documentary by Ukrainian filmmaker Sergei Loznitsa, uses a remarkable trove of found footage to reconstruct one of Joseph Stalin’s first show trials. When a group of top-ranking economists and engineers are accused of plotting a coup against the Soviet government, the court alleges that they made a secret pact with the French Prime Minister, Raymond Poincaré, and with other Western political leaders, aiming to destroy the Soviet power, restore capitalism, and break up the USSR. All charges are fabricated, and the accused are forced to confess to crimes they never committed. Filmed as if on a 1930s sound studio with blocky set pieces, Loznitsa’s montage reveals the theatrical nature of the farce and emphasizes the “show” element of the trial. The film will be introduced by Yuliya Ilchuk (Assistant Professor, Slavic Languages and Literatures, Stanford University). A post-screening discussion will follow with Yuliya Ilchuk and Anke Giesen (Memorial Germany). RSVP