Jump directly to the page contents

El juicio

The Trial
Still from the film "El juicio" by Ulises de la Orden. A woman is seated in a witness stand, looking to her right. A microfone is positioned next to her.
© Memoria Abierta
  • Director

    Ulises de la Orden

  • Argentina, Italy, France, Norway / 2023
    177 min. / Original version with English subtitles

  • Original language

    Spanish, English, French

1985 is an important year in Argentina’s recent history. In April of that year, nine high-ranking representatives of the military dictatorship (1976 to 1983) were put on trial, on charges including unlawful detention, torture and murder. The verdicts were announced in December.

While Santiago Mitre created a feature film (ARGENTINA, 1985) out of the trial, Ulises de la Orden hews closely to the source material, crafting a nearly three-hour-long documentary - EL JUICIO - out of video footage from the courtroom. After viewing more than 500 hours of material, the director condensed and structured it into this artful, spiralling montage. The more witnesses the film allows to have their say, the more irrefutable it becomes that the men on the dock are responsible for acts for which the term “state terror” is too mild, regardless of how unassailable they consider themselves to be. In the end, prosecutor Julio Strassera calls the trial a “descent” – to a place “where the misery, depravity and horror reach a depth that one couldn’t have imagined beforehand, and afterward can barely comprehend". EL JUICIO is a film upon which the power to imagine and to comprehend depend. (Cristina Nord)

Production Ulises de la Orden. Production company Polo Sur Cine (Buenos Aires, Argentina). Director Ulises de la Orden. Screenplay Ulises de la Orden. Cinematography Pablo Parra. Editing Alberto Ponce. Sound design Gerardo Kalmar. Sound Ambolt Audio, Mathieu Deniau. Production manager Gisela Peláez. Executive producer Ulises de la Orden. Co-producer Alessandro Borrelli, Richard Copans, Dag Hoel. Co-production La Sarraz Pictures, Les Films d'Ici, Dag Hoel Filmproduksjon.

Ulises de la Orden, born in Buenos Aires, Argentina in 1970, he studied film. Alongside his work as an author, producer and director, he also teaches film direction. EL JUICIO is his tenth film.

Films: 2004: Rio Arriba / Up Stream (72 min.). 2011: Tierra Adentro / Inland (103 min.). 2013: Desierto Verde / Green Desert (86 min.). 2015: Mujer Entera / Whole Woman (69 min.). 2018: Chaco (80 min.). 2019: Nueva Mente / New Mind (83 min.), Amanecer en mi Tierra / Down on My Land (83 min.), Marea y Viento / Tide and Wind (69 min.). 2020: Vilca, la magia del silencio / Vilca, the Magic of Silence (101 min.). 2023: El juicio / The Trial.

Bonus Material

Background, making of photos and Director’s Statement on EL JUICIO

  • Still from the film "El juicio" by Ulises de la Orden. A blurry microphone can be seen in the foreground. Behind the microphone, a man with dark glasses and a dark moustache is resting his head on his hands.


    In “A Dictatorship in the Dock” Rosario Figari Layús details the historical context of EL JUICIO

  • Still from the film "El juicio" by Ulises de la Orden. Several men in suits are standing next to each other, the one in the middle is wearing large glasses. There is another man in the background wearing a military uniform.

    Director’s Statement

    Ulises de la Orden on the difficulties of tackling the history of Argentinean authoritarianism

  • Detail view of the paper roll on which the structure of the film is noted


    Photos from the work on EL JUICIO

Funded by:

  • Logo Minister of State for Culture and the Media
  • Logo des Programms NeuStart Kultur