The Trial: The State of Russia vs Oleg Sentsov

Askold Kurov

Estonia, Poland, Czech Republic 2017, 75 min.


Spoken language: Russian, Ukrainian, English

Subtitles: English

Festival year: 2019

In 2015, Ukrainian filmmaker Oleg Sentsov, accused of terrorism by the Russian state, was sentenced to twenty years in prison in Siberia following what Amnesty International called a ‘cynical show trial’ given its highly politicized nature.


The film searches the truth behind the trial against pro-Ukrainian activist Sentsov and reveals the numerous flaws in the evidence provided by the public prosecutor. According to Sentsov’s family and his lawyer, he was arrested for peacefully protesting against the Russian occupation of Crimea. In fact, the prosecution failed to provide proof that Sentsov had been involved in any of the crimes to which he is linked. The notorious trial sparked worldwide protests and encouraged Russian documentary filmmaker Askold Kurov to make a film about his colleague’s plight. Oleg Sentsov went on a hunger strike on 14 May 2018 to ask for the release of all Ukrainian political prisoners.

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Talkshows & debates

Sakharov Special: The Trial: The State of Russia vs. Oleg Sentsov: panel discussion with among other

Tuesday, March 26, 2019 - 20:00

Panel discussion with among others Natalia Kaplan, cousin of Oleg Sentsov, and director Askold Kurov about Sentsov’s imprisonment and the conflict in Crimea.