Mostra Venezia, the director of ‘The Kiev Trial’: “Show Nazi horrors so as not to repeat them”

Sergej Loznitsa: “I would be happy to make a film about the trial of Russians for crimes against Ukraine”

“This film with such a strong emotional impact can really help us think, understand and make sure that things don’t happen again. Russia will have to learn, and it will also have to pay.” Thus the Ukrainian director Sergej Loznitsa presented today in Venice, Out of Competition, the new documentary ‘The Kiev Trial’, which shows the viewer unpublished images of the trial against those responsible for the Nazi war crimes against the Ukrainian people during the Second World War , also known as the ‘Nuremberg of Kiev’.

A great archival search to retrieve the images that “no one had ever shown, a material shot of three hours, and looking at it I thought that an important film could be made from it, because no one remembered that this process had taken place and that it had ended with a public execution in the square with 200 thousand people “, explains the director. That he observes: “History repeats itself when we don’t learn. If we don’t learn from history, if we don’t want to learn, it becomes difficult, it takes energy to learn how to do it.”

The parallel with the ongoing war in Ukraine, which had not yet begun when the director began working on the film, is inevitable: “When the war between Russia and Ukraine started, we began to rethink 8 years ago, and we have seen it always repeat itself. the same things – Loznits says – This means that we have not really learned. This historical work is therefore important that it is done “. The war on the part of Russia takes place “also because there has been no repentance in Russia. The Russians have never apologized for the Stalinist period, Lenin’s Red Square is still there, so this happens because nothing changes, the head of the country is one of the KGB “, the Ukrainian filmmaker sinks.

The fact that the images of the Nazi crimes and the process that followed were never shown “led Russia to be what it is today – is the analysis of Loznitsa, who is the author, among other things, of a movie called ‘Donbass’ – No surprise, people thought that everything was allowed, that they had enough power to decide to do what they did. Without these trials where all crimes are exposed things will repeat themselves “. Loznitsa analyzes the ongoing conflict: “I believe that at the end of this war, which I don’t know when it will happen, there will have to be a trial against the war crimes committed by the Russian army in Ukraine”, he observes. Adding that when it happens “we will therefore be happy to make a film about this”.

“On the one hand, the material seems to be shot now, the past becoming the present – says associate producer Khrzhanovsky – and this means that there will also be proof for the future that something happened many years ago. This film will have an impact due to its uniqueness. artistic but also for the current situation, because we understand that the things that have happened remain in history forever, and will help us understand something about ourselves “.