The World’s Biggest Murder Trial: Nuremberg

Broadcaster: Channel 5

1 x 90 episodes

Distributor: Passion Distribution

75 years ago, the biggest murder trial in history began in Nuremberg, Germany. 21 Nazi leaders appeared in court charged with crimes that caused the death of millions of innocent people during World War II. This bold new feature-length documentary recounts the dramatic story of the Nuremberg Trials.

Meticulously crafted using over a thousand archive clips, including recently digitised film footage from the courtroom, and without voice-over or any interviews in vision, this is a truly cinematic, immersive and impactful record of the most important trial in history – an event that not only represented the birth of human rights, and shaped international law forever, but serves as a stark reminder of the brutal consequences of oppression, division and hate. The film comes at an important time, when we must ensure our darkest past is not forgotten.

The film tells the story of the trial as it happened. Not revealing its outcome until the end and dramatically navigating the twists and turns of all the courtroom drama. It is a narrative many may feel they know but it is unlikely the detail and framing of this film will not surprise its audience. Filmed archive from the trial captures emotionally charged speeches by prosecutors, witness evidence, and the cross examining of senior Nazis like Hermann Goring.

An eclectic and diverse array of interviewees include Ben Ferencz, the only surviving prosecutor from the trials, who turned 100 years old in 2020. As one of the first war crime investigators into Europe when the war ended, he also provides first person testimony as to the horrors he faced. His perspective is powerful. At one point stating, “Until then, we didn’t even know the term ‘concentration camp’, we had no idea”.

Acclaimed author and international lawyer Phillipe Sands, alongside fellow international lawyer Dapo Akande, provide insight to the courtroom process and the global impact of the trials. Historians, Henrike Claussen (of the Nuremberg Trials Museum), Henning Grunwald, and Lisa Pine, help steer the film’s narrative. As do voices from the time; the words of Gustave Gilbert, the court psychologist, and reporters, Janet Flanner and Rebecca West are used throughout to help provide first-person accounts of those that were there.

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