«The Greatest Sin Is Cowardice.» With this quote from Michail Bulgakov, Oleg Sentsov closes his final speech at the trial. Sentsov, a film director and Maidan activist born in Ukraine was charged with leading an anti-Russian terrorist movement in Crimea during the events following March 2014. Renowned filmmaking colleagues such as Agnieszka Holland and Wim Wenders, as well as the European Film Academy, campaigned for his release, but in August 2015, a Russian court in Rostov-on-Don sentenced him to 20 years’ imprisonment in Siberia. In this documentary, Askold Kurov investigates the context of the trial.
Kurov’s prime source of imagery was found footage. He employed recordings from Sentsov’s own films, various media representations of Sentsov and of the historical events underlying the trial, as well as his family archives. Among
the photographs in the Sentsov family album, there is, as his mother joyfully comments, “Sentsovs first photogram”: an aerial . . .
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