La Biennale di Venezia

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Out of Competition

Sergei Loznitsa
Atoms & Void (Sergei Loznitsa, Maria Choustova), Wild at Art
Running Time:
Sergei Loznitsa
archive footage
Danielius Kokanauskis, Sergei Loznitsa
Vladimir Golovnitski


Moscow, USSR. 1930. The Pillar Hall of the State House of the Unions. A group of top rank economists and engineers is put on trial accused of plotting a coup d’état against the Soviet government. It’s alleged that they made a secret pact with the French Prime Minister, Raymond Poincaré, aiming to destroy the Soviet power and restore capitalism. All charges are fabricated and the accused are forced to confess to the crimes they never committed. The court delivers death verdicts. Unique archive footage reconstructs one of the first show trials, masterminded by Stalin. The drama is real, but the story is fake. The film gives an unprecedented insight into the origins of a deadly regime, which made the slogan “Lie is Truth” its everyday reality.

Director’s Statement

I started working on a film about Stalin’s show trials, which were held in the USSR in 1930s, a couple of years ago. My initial idea was to edit the footage from different trials in order to show how the machine of Soviet terror was established, and how the system gradually took over the minds of innocent citizens. However, soon after I began studying archive materials, I discovered the footage, which I found to be absolutely unique. I decided to make the film in such a way, as to give the spectators a chance to spend two hours in the USSR in 1930: to see and to experience the moment, when the machine of state terror, created by Stalin, was launched into action. My intention was to reconstruct the trial stage by stage. We restored and kept all the sound that was recorded in 1930. The only commentary I allowed myself to make in the entire film is right at the very end. I need this commentary in order to tell the truth, since it is impossible to learn the truth from any other episode of this documentary film. In fact, Process is a unique example of a documentary, in which one sees “24 frames of lies” per second.


Brugsestraat 20
2587 XS - The Hague, Netherlands
Tel. +31 (0) 611006099

PRODUCTION 2: Wild at Art
Koivistokade 58
1013 BB - Amsterdam, Netherlands
Tel +31 (0)6 53321122

WORLD SALES: Maria Choustova - ATOMS & VOID
Brugsestraat 20
2587 XS - The Hague, Netherlands
Tel. +31 (0) 611006099

PRESS OFFICE: Maria Choustova - ATOMS & VOID
Brugsestraat 20
2587 XS - The Hague, Netherlands
Tel. +31 (0) 611006099

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Biennale Cinema
Biennale Cinema