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The Trial + Q&A
Institute of Contemporary Arts
The Trial (El juicio), dir. Ulises de la Orden, Argentina, Italy, France, Norway 2023, Spanish, English and French with English subtitles, 177 min.

In 1985, Argentinian public television broadcast the trial of the leaders of the military juntas that had ruled the nation from 1976 to 1983. Marking the first, and to date, only, instance where a democratic government of a country tried a former dictatorial regime of that same country, the production of the over 530 hours of footage was deemed necessary to document this pioneering legal act. 

The Trial is the product of a years-long quest by Ulises de la Orden to track down and access these tapes which had been dispersed across archives in Argentina and abroad, preserved but dormant. Following an extensive process of compilation, cataloguing and consultation with the juntas’ victims, the resulting film uses the language of cinema to re-active this archival material into a renewed demonstration of the necessity of justice in a contemporary context. 

The testimony of thousands of victims and witnesses, the intricate recollections of countless acts of violence is sensitively selected and edited. From the overwhelming mass of footage, de la Orden pulls out individual characters, events, and narratives that form a film that is accessible and able to be disseminated to audiences across Argentina and beyond whilst remaining unflinching in its condemnation of the juntas’ systematic brutality. Through The Trial, the chant of Nunca Más (Never Again), first used by campaigners for justice against the juntas, is carried forward to resonate with a new generation.

The screening will be followed by a Q&A with filmmaker Ulises de la Orden hosted by director Dominic Crossley-Holland

All films are ad-free and 18+ unless otherwise stated, and start with a 10 min. curated selection of trailers.

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