documentary / 2018 / Netherlands / bw / 127 min.
Moscow, USSR. 1930. A group of top rank economists and engineers is put on trial accused of plotting a coup dʼetat against the Soviet government. Itʼs alleged that they made a secret pact with the French Prime Minister, Raymond Poincare, 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 the crimes they never committed. The court, presided by Andrey Vyshinsky, who later became known as the key-figure in Stalinist show trials and the advocate of mass repressions, delivers death verdicts. Unique archive footage reconstructs one of the first show trials, masterminded by Stalin, which unfolds as a theatrical performance with actors - prosecutors, witnesses, defendants, judges – lying to themselves, to the audience and to the world. The drama is real, but the story is fake.
Director: Sergei Loznitsa
Screenplay: Sergei Loznitsa
Editor: Sergei Loznitsa, Danielius Kokanauskis
Cast: Nikiolai Krylenko (archive footage)