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  • Documentary about a group of engineers who were put on public trial for treason in 1930s Russia.

    We are told at the very end of the film (in a single sentence) that we now know everything we have seen previously was all a state fabrication at the request of Stalin himself, and that the plot the men were accused of never existed, but we learn nothing about WHY it is a fabrication, or why the men accused went along with pleading guilty in such detail, or how we know what we now believe to be the truth IS the truth.

    What this means in practice is that we spend over two hours hearing the accused simply reading prepared Soviet propaganda before the court, with nothing to balance it out showing us the actual reality. So this is an incredibly dull waste of time for anyone but an obsessive student of Soviet lies. It's chilling to see the groupthink and assault on reality of a Communist state in full swing, but a documentary about the true stories of those on trial would have been much more interesting and worthwhile, so this was very much a missed opportunity.