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The Trial

Sunday, May 15, 2022 at 4:30 pm

Location: Bartos Screening Room

Dir. Sergei Loznitsa. Ukraine. 2018, 127 mins. DCP. In Russian with English subtitles. Sergei Loznitsa’s found-footage documentary is constructed of painstakingly researched and restored black-and-white footage from one of Joseph Stalin’s first show trials, recorded in 1930 in Moscow. The trial and its consequences are real, while the crime is fake—a spectacle concocted by Stalin’s government to buoy his political intentions and cement his standing. All charged with seeking to sabotage the USSR at the behest of French Prime Minister Raymond Poincaré and other Western leaders, one accused man after another confesses to crimes they never actually committed. Furthermore they do so convincingly, dutifully playing the part of traitors for an audience of their fellow citizens—also occasionally seen subjected to the harsh glare of lighting and the de facto surveillance of the camera. Without ever leaving 1930, Loznitsa has made a film that’s also entirely about today. A First Look 2019 selection.

Ticket includes Museum admission and access to the exhibition Deepfake: Unstable Evidence on Screen.

Tickets: $15 / $11 senior and students / $9 youth (ages 3–17) / discounted for MoMI members ($7–$11). Order tickets. Please pick up tickets at the Museum’s admissions desk upon arrival. All seating is general admission. Review safety protocols before your visit.