Milo Rau Retrospective

The Moscow Trials

Milo Rau

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 three-day 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.


Milo Rau

Milo Rau is writer and director, and artistic director of NTGent theater in Belgium. He studied sociology, German and Romance languages and literature in Paris, Berlin and Zurich. Since 2002 he has published over 50 plays, films, books and actions for which he has received numerous awards. His theater productions have been shown at all major international festivals and have been touring in over 30 countries worldwide. Rau's films, including The New Gospel (2020), The Congo Tribunal (2017), Hate Radio (2014), The Moscow Trials (2013), The Last Days of the Ceausescus (2010) have been awarded many prizes including a Special Award at the Festival des Deutschen Films, the Zürcher Filmpreis or the Amnesty International Prize. In addition to his work as a director, Rau is also a critic, lecturer and prolific writer with 15 publications to date, which have been translated into English, French, Italian, Dutch, Chinese and Norwegian, among others. Rau's literary work has been awarded some of the most prestigious German literary prizes.

General sponsor

Die Moskauer Prozesse

2013, 86'

Directed by:
Milo Rau

Screenplay by:
Milo Rau

Markus Tomsche

Edited by:
Lena Rem

Arne Birkenstock, Jens Dietrich, Milo Rau

Produced by:
Fruitmarket, IIPM - International Institute of Political Murder

Festivals & Awards:

Festival of German Film 2014 – Special Award
goEast Filmfestival 2014


Arne Birkenstock