Featuring newly recovered footage, Ulises de la Orden amplifies the forgotten voices of victims of the Argentinian dictatorship as he pieces together the trial of nine high-ranking military representatives.
Following the collapse of the Argentinian dictatorship, the new democratically elected government held a judicial trial of nine high-ranking representatives of the military Junta. The accused were prosecuted with crimes that included kidnapping, torture, forced disappearance, and the murder of over 8000 people from 1976-1983.
The trial of the Junta was recorded for broadcast television on over 500 hours of U-matic tape; Ulises de la Orden’s film is crafted entirely from the resulting material. Testimony from victims of the regime is relayed in exacting and powerful detail. There is a cumulative effect that builds through repetition as each witness tells their story. Whilst De la Orden often cuts to reactions from the public assembled in the court gallery, the Junta’s victims on the witness stand sit with their backs to the viewer, their faces only occasionally glimpsed in profile to protect their anonymity.
De la Orden dedicated a decade to tracking down the footage that makes up The Trial, the original tapes having been scattered across various locations in South America and Europe. The resulting film stands as a compelling and vital document of the importance of bearing witness and legal process.
With the support of Instituto Cervantes London.
Followed by a Q&A with Ulises de la Orden.