The Trial of the Chicago 7 Review

If nothing else, history is cyclical. The experience of one generation is often repeated time and again.

The Trial of the Chicago 7 premiered last weekend on Netflix. The movie tells the story of seven men who are accused of inciting a riot during the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago. Among the defendants are Tom Hayden (Eddie Redmayne), Abbie Hoffman (Sacha Baron Cohen), and Bobby Seale (Yahya Abdul-Mateen II). One of the lawyers they hired to represent them is William Kunstler (Mark Rylance).

On the other side is Richard Schultz (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), a lawyer for the government whose job is to ensure that a guilty verdict is obtained. On the judge’s bench is Julius Hoffman (Frank Langella). Judge Hoffman is more than eager to see the men thrown in jail.

Though the movie takes place in the late 1960’s, the comparisons to 2020 are too obvious to ignore. The cultural and political divisions back then were as rigid as they are today. If nothing else, it is reminder that there are some things in this world that are constant. The details may change, but the basic frame is unchanged.

Narratively speaking, the tension goes a bit slack in the middle of the film. But other than that, the movie is well done and worth watching.

Do I recommend it? Yes.

The Trial of the Chicago 7 is available for streaming on Netflix.

Throwback Thursday-Borat: Cultural Learnings of America For Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan (2006)

For all of the wonderful qualities that America offers her citizens, there is a dark underbelly that is difficult to address.

That is, unless your Sacha Baron Cohen (aka Borat).

Mr. Cohen’s 2006 mockumentary, Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan, is a satire of an foreign man’s view of The United States. It also exposes the squeamish arenas of our culture that few are willing to truly look at.  Borat (Sacha Baron Cohen) is a journalist from Kazakh TV. He has been sent by his producers to make a documentary on what it is to be an American. While watching television, he comes across a Baywatch rerun and becomes obsessed with Pamela Anderson to the point of finding her and marrying her. 

It takes a bold comic to go all out into a character like Borat. Borat is not the most likable of characters. But it also takes a bold comic to reveal the truth. And boy, does he reveal the truth.

I absolutely recommend it.

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