THE TRIAL portrays the judicial-political impeachment trial of Dilma Rousseff, Brazil’s first female President. A tale of betrayal and corruption, the film presents Rousseff’s personal story: herself imprisoned and tortured by the country’s former military dictatorship, she now faces impeachment accused of fiscal crimes. With unique access to the President herself, to her defence team, and three senators who struggle to prove her innocence, the film offers a behind the- scenes look at this historical moment. Through Ramos’ wholly observational technique, we witness how the impeachment triggers a profound political crisis in Brazil and the collapse of the democratic institutions at the very heart of this crisis.

Director’s note
The film reveals that though the impeachment of Rousseff may have the appearance of legitimacy, it lacks both the spirit and substance of the law. There is no presumption of innocence. There is no impartial jury. The majority of the House and the Senate sitting in judgment of Rousseff are themselves under multiple investigations. What may appear a legal process is, in fact, a Kafkaesque one and a dangerous subversion of democracy.

World premiere
Berlin International Film Festival 2018, Panorama

Key festivals and awards
Panorama Audience Award for Documentary Film, Berlin International Film Festival 2018; Best Feature Film of the International Competition, Visions du Réel 2018

BRAZIL, 2018
Director: Maria Augusta Ramos
Producers: Nofoco Filmes Productions (Brazil), Autentika Films (Germany)
German WCF partner: Autentika Films
World sales: Nofoco Filmes (Brazil)

Funded in the WCF Jury meeting in November 2017
Funding amount: 25.000 €