Milo Rau / IIPM

In the summer of 2012, the sentencing of Pussy Riot to two years’ imprisonment meant, according to many, the end of democracy in Russia.

In March 2013, Milo Rau set up a courtroom at Moscow’s Sakharov Center and staged a “trial” of Putin’s political system’s culture war, which for a decade has persecuted artists and dissidents to prevent any form of democratic change.

The performance was seized upon by the Russian authorities and caused an international scandal. The Moscow Trials (Switzerland/Germany 2014) documents the realisation of the project and the events of those days.


Russian with Italian subtitles, running time 86 min.
Admission: € 5,00


Screenplay and direction: Milo Rau; producer: Arne Birkenstock; IIPM co-producer: Jens Dietrich, Milo Rau; executive producer: Kirsten Schuaries; executive producer in Moscow: Jens Dietrich, Milena Kipfmüller; filming: Markus Tomsche; sound: Jens Baudisch; assistant director: Yanina Kochtova; editing: Lena Rem; assistant editor: Malte Wirtz. In collaboration with: Deutsches Nationaltheater and Staatskapelle Weimar, Institute for the Performing Arts and Film / Zürcher Hochschule der Künste, Konzert Theater Bern, Gessnerallee Zürich, Stiftung Gedenkstätten Buchenwald and Mittelbau-Dora, Memorial Russland, Sacharow-Zentrum Moskau, Wiener Festwochen, Kunstenfestivaldesarts Brüssel, Goethe-Institut Moskau, Fruitmarket Kultur und Medien GmbH. Produced with the support of: Film- und Medienstiftung NRW, Beauftragter der Bundesregierung für Kultur und Medien.



Milo Rau – 1977, Bern, Switzerland. Director and playwright, he studied sociology, Germanistics and Romanistics in Paris, Zurich and Berlin, attending lectures by Tzvetan Todorov and Pierre Bourdieu, among others. He began writing international reportage in 1997, travelling to Ciapas and Cuba. From 2000 he worked for the Neue Zürcher Zeitung, and from 2003 he began his career as a director and author in Switzerland and abroad. In 2007 Rau founded the IIPM (International Institute of Political Murder), the theatre and film production centre with which he still produces all his work today. In addition to his theatre and film work, Milo Rau lectures on directing and cultural theory at several universities. His theatre and film works are based on long and meticulous research in the field, sometimes they are full-fledged cultural and social campaigns (e.g. “Montana”, “The Last Hours of Elena and Nicolae Ceausescu”, “Hate Radio”, “City of Change”, “Breivik’s Statement”, “The Moscow Trials”, “The Zurich Trials”, “The Civil Wars”, “The Dark Ages” and “The Congo Tribunal”). They have been invited to more than thirty different countries around the world and hosted by some of the most important festivals and centres worldwide, including Berliner Theatertreffen, Avignon Festival, Theaterspektakel Zürich, Noorderzon Performing Arts Festival Groningen, Festival TransAmeriques, Wiener Festwochen, Kunstenfestival Brussels, Santarcangelo Festival, Terni Festival, Venice Biennale. He is the recipient of numerous prizes and awards, including the Swiss Theatre Price, the Best Radio Drama Award of the Association of the War Blind (for “Hate Radio”), the Special Jury Prize of the German Film Festival (for “The Moscow Trials”) and the Grand Jury Prize of the Triennial German Theatre Festival “Politik im Freien Theater” (for “The Civil Wars”). His philosophical essay “What is to be done. Critique of the Postmodern Reason” (2013) became a bestseller and was named “Best Political Essay of 2013” by the prestigious German newspaper ‘Die Tageszeitung’, while his play “The Civil Wars” was selected as one of the “Best 5 plays of 2014” by the expert commission of Swiss State Television. “The Civil Wars” was named as “one of the best plays in the Netherlands and Flanders of the 2014/2015 season”. The Belgian newspaper ‘La Libre Belgique’ recently called Milo Rau ‘the most in-demand director in Europe’, while the German weekly ‘Der Freiteg’ called him ‘the most controversial theatre director of his generation’.