The Trial of the Chicago 7 (2020)
ON THE BIG SCREEN!
The Trial of the Chicago 7, directed and written by Aaron Sorkin (A Few Good Men, Moneyball, The West Wing) is based on the infamous 1969 trial of seven defendants charged by the federal government with conspiracy and more, arising from the countercultural protests in Chicago at the 1968 Democratic National Convention. The trial transfixed the nation and sparked a conversation about mayhem intended to undermine the U.S. government.
So let’s get the obvious description out of the way first: timely. The Trial of the Chicago 7 is vividly aware of its status as a positive and affirming story of a cadre of people on trial for conspiracy against the federal government, in the context of a cultural moment where America is wrestling with the meaning and ramification of a whole different attack on the government. It takes some liberties with history, of course, to tell the story it wants to. But Sorkin’s razor-sharp writing, and performances from a stellar cast (Eddie Redmayne, Sacha Baron Cohen, John Carroll Lynch, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Michael Keaton, Frank Langella and believe or not, others), elevate it from just-so story to an inspirational and aspirational chronicle of a dangerous time.
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