NOTE: This will be my only post today for Hurricane Ida is heading my way and I need to batten down the hatches and move stuff around to keep it from flying around….so my time will better spent doing precautionary work.
This is a seldom review by me…..this film interest me for I was around for the real trial….but before I go into the film maybe a little history for those that were not around for the actual event.
The film did do one thing….it illustrated what a clown show it was with the old fart Judge Hoffman (which illustrates why judges should be forced to retire at age 65).
The trial was held to punish the leaders of the protests of 1968 at the Democratic convention in Chicago.
The Chicago Seven (originally eight) were political radicals accused of conspiring to incite the riots that occurred at the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago. During the five-month trial, the prosecution stressed the defendants’ provocative rhetoric and subversive intentions, while the defense attributed the violence to official overreaction. The case drew national attention for the artists and activists that testified as witnesses, as well as defendant Bobby Seale’s actions, which earned him four years in prison for contempt of court. In February 1970, five of the seven were found guilty, but an appeals court overturned the convictions in 1972.
There were originally eight defendants: David Dellinger, a pacifist and chairman of the National Mobilization against the War; Tom Hayden and Rennie Davis, leaders of the Students for a Democratic Society, Abbie Hoffman and Jerry Rubin, leaders of theYouth International Party John Froines and Lee Weiner, local Chicago organizers; and Bobby Seale, cofounder of the Black Panther Party.
Now that the history lesson is over…I will move on the the film…..
Netflix’s portrayal of the trial directed by Andrew Sorkin…..the film had an excellent cast…..the major characters of the trial……
- Eddie Redmayne as Tom Hayden, a leader and one time President of the Students for a Democratic Society (SDS)
- Sacha Baron Cohen as Abbie Hoffman, founding member of the Youth International Party (Yippies)
- Alex Sharp as Rennie Davis, organizer in Chicago for the National Mobilization Committee to End the War in Vietnam and the national organizer of community organizing for the SDS
- Jeremy Strong as Jerry Rubin, founding member of the Yippies
- John Carroll Lynch as David Dellinger, leader of the National Mobilization Committee to End the War in Vietnam (MOBE)
- Noah Robbins as Lee Weiner
- Daniel Flaherty as John Froines
- Yahya Abdul-Mateen II as Bobby Seale, national chairman of the Black Panther Party and eighth defendant
- Mark Rylance as William Kunstler, defense counsel, co-founder of the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR), board member of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), and active member of the National Lawyers Guild.
- Joseph Gordon-Levitt as Richard Schultz, assistant federal prosecutor
If one watches this with the mindset of entertainment then it is excellent….but if one is looking for historic accuracy then it is lacking.
As someone who lived through those turbulent days I was disappointed in the film all together.
Sorkin seeks to tame these radicals, and the anti-imperialist, anti-racist, anti-capitalist, and revolutionary politics they represented (not, of course, without differences among them) by recasting them as boosters for liberal reform. The result is not only an inaccurate rendering of the group’s political visions but a tone-deaf affirmation of the American state, and specifically law enforcement, as fundamentally virtuous.
Since I am not the best reviewer on the web….I will let others give you the review this film deserves…..
All in all the film was well acted but the character study it portrayed failed.
I recommend this film for entertainment reasons…..if you want historic accuracy then I would, if I were you, pass.
On a side note–I would like to see the same dogged determinism by the government when the leaders of this most recent insurrection against the government when they go to trial and the same sensationalism by the media as well during the trial.
Turn The Page!
To close out the day…..as with my tradition “Trying To Reason With The Hurricane Season by Jimmy Buffet……