THE TRIAL OF THE CHICAGO 7 (2020) Fifty years after the infamous conspiracy trial took place, it has finally been made into a first-class film. Written and Directed by Aaron Sorkin, The Trial of the Chicago 7 is now available on Netflix. Sorkin is well known for his clever banter and crisp rapid-fire dialogue. .He has created intelligent and entertaining television including The West Wing (1999-2006), Sports Night (1998-2000), and The Newsroom (2012-2014). This film is an instructive bit of history focused on charges arising from the 1968 riots that took place in Chicago during the Democratic National Convention when hippies and Yippies protesting the Vietnam War clashed with Chicago police. Shocking images of police firing teargas and beating demonstrators with their nightsticks played on network television news. A terrified older generation tended to side with police while younger people tended to side with the battered protesters. In the immediate aftermath of those riots, Attorney General Ramsey Clark of the Johnson administration had declined to press charges, having determined that the police had started the rioting. But once President Richard Nixon took office, the new attorney general, John Mitchell, decided to try the organizers on charges of conspiracy. In the first minutes of the film, Sorkin introduces the defendants through a series of flashback vignettes, which communicate their personalities and points of view. Then in a screenplay lasting just a little over two hours he covers some of the high-points of a trial that dragged on for five months. The trial started with 8 defendants including Bobby Seale, co-founder of the Black Panthers who wasn’t even in Chicago during the riots and had nothing to do with planning the protest.  At one point Seale was bound and gagged for his frequent outbursts but was later severed from the case bringing the number of defendants to seven…The Chicago Seven. Sorkin put together a deep bench of acting talent with an impressive all-star ensemble. It is an extremely powerful film and incredibly relevant to where our divided nation is today. The Trial of the Chicago 7 is a movie about a grotesque miscarriage of justice from 50 years ago.  Both Barbara and I were deeply moved by this movie and we were left wondering, has our society learned nothing in the last half century?  GRADE A

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Review: Eddie Redmayne arresting in

The Trial of the Chicago 7’

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