The timing of the release of “The Trial of the Chicago 7” is no coincidence given our current social and political landscape.
At the height of the antiwar and civil rights movements, 7 social activists from varying leftist groups and 1 member of the Black Panthers organized protests and marches directly across from the 1968 Democratic National Convention. what follows is a small fraction of the unimaginable events that transpired inside the courtroom trial of Tom Hayden (Eddie Redmayne), Abbie Hoffman (Sacha Baron Cohen), Jerry Rubin (Jeremy Strong), David Dellinger (John Carroll Lynch), Rennie Davis (Alex Sharp), John Froines (Danny Flaherty), Lee Weiner (Noah Robbins) and finally, the Black Panther, Bobby Seale (Yahya Abdul-Mateen II) whom the extremely bigoted judge on the case, Julias Hoffman (Frank Langella), showed extreme discrimination towards despite his lack of representation for the duration of the nearly 5 month trial.
The prosecution, led by the deeply corrupt Nixon administration and his Attorney General, John Mitchell (John Doman), sought indictments for the Chicago 7 for violating the Rap Brown law which was added to the Civil Rights Bill by conservatives even though president Johnson’s administration previously refused to prosecute.
Written and directed by Aaron Sorkin, this ensemble piece is not only important, but packed with drama. It is confirmed that the cast of “The Trial of the Chicago 7” will all be up for awards in the supporting actor category – so this is a movie we will be expecting to hear a lot about through this strange upcoming awards season. Available on Netflix. 4.2/5 stars.