Past screening

The Trial: The State of Russia vs Oleg Sentsov

Directed by: Askold Kurov
Runtime: 1hr 15min Year: 2017
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Directed by: Askold Kurov
Runtime: 1hr 15min Year: 2017
Country: Estonia, Poland, Czech Republic
Last Screened: Sat 14th Jul 2018

This free screening presented by British-Ukrainian Aid aims to raise awareness about the case of Oleg Sentsov and is part of the worldwide campaign demanding his release.

On 14th May 2018 Oleg Sentsov announced an indefinite hunger strike demanding the release of all Ukrainian political prisoners, while not asking for his own release. Every day brings Oleg closer to dying as his health has already deteriorated because of his prolonged imprisonment in a Russian Arctic prison camp.

The film director Askold Kurov investigates the truth behind this political show trial. Were the witnesses for the prosecution placed under duress? What effect did detention and the trial itself have on the accused and his family? The film also documents the solidarity shown to Sentsov by filmmaking colleagues such as Agnieszka Holland, Ken Loach and Pedro Almodóvar, and by the European Film Academy.

In The Trial, Oleg Sentsov embraces his role as a political prisoner. The movie reveals what the stakes are: when he talks to his daughter on the phone, we see the price paid by any dissident — not just the personal agony of incarceration, but the ripped bonds of a family. Sentsov was subjected to torture in prison, all to produce a confession to activities that never happened.

“I don’t know what your convictions are worth if you aren’t ready to suffer for them, or even to die”- this is an extract from Oleg Sentsov’s speech given on the day he was sentenced to 20 years in prison.