IDFA - 13 Days. Industrial Party Process

A dozen men are on trial for crimes against the Russian Revolution in 1930. They confess, but what are we really watching here?

In 1930, during what became known as the Industrial Party Trial, some members of the Soviet technical elite were tried for plotting to form a counter-revolutionary party. This documentary depicts that trial, in which a dozen men are prosecuted for crimes against the Russian Revolution. They promptly confess and are given the chance to address the court with an explanation. Full of remorse, they plead for the opportunity to pay off their debt to society by working. Then they wait for their sentence.

What was presented in 1930 as a documentary we now know is a registration of a show trial. Said to have been fabricated by Stalin himself, its aim was to serve as a cautionary tale for anyone who had ever thought of standing up to the Soviet regime. The film is now a unique document, capturing the spirit of the times. Produced by the Central Studio for Documentary Film, which was the largest Soviet newsreel and documentary studio, this film was one of the first to feature sound recorded on location.