THE MOSCOW TRIALS
In the summer of 2012, when the punk activists of Pussy Riot were sentenced to two years’ imprisonment in a penal colony for their performance in the Moscow Cathedral of Christ the Saviour, the world reacted with widespread protest rallies. Yet this was only the latest episode in a ten-year series of show trials of artists and dissidents, staged by Putin’s system to prevent any form of democratic change. Milo Rau thematises this issue by a threeday theatre show trial. A courtroom was set up, the people on stage were real-life actors: artists, politicians, church leaders, real lawyers and a real judge. A jury composed of seven Moscow citizens finally handed down their sentence – an acquittal for the artists. The film documents the project and its historical and political backgrounds.