They say history is doomed to repeat itself. Often times, when you look at how the news headlines are filled with police brutality and racial injustice, it seems that way. Aaron Sorkin’s Trial of the Chicago 7 covers the true story of the peaceful protests at the 1968 Democratic National convention and the violent outcomes stemming from police brutality, followed by a trial of seven protestors charged with a conspiracy to incite riots.
There are some parallels between what happened then and what is happening now. While we may not be protesting against the Vietnam War, we are witnessing other forms of injustice. So, Trial of the Chicago 7 feels like a timely and relevant piece of filmmaking.
And those “The whole world is watching” chants paired to the sounds of gavels slamming, rifles cocking, handcuffs clasping, is the kind of visuals that are reminiscent of what is happening now. Indeed, the whole world is watching as a country has to protest against the racial injustice and police brutality, while the innocent are seemingly given judgment before the trial.
The October release seems like it wants to send a message out prior to November 3. And the release also tells us that Netflix will be campaigning for some awards.
The film stars Yahya Abdul-Mateen II as Black Panther co-founder Bobby Seale; Sacha Baron Cohen as Youth International Pary co-founder Abbie Hoffman; Michael Keaton as Ramsey Clarke, the lawyer defending the Chicago 7; Frank Langella as Judge Julis Hoffman; John Carroll Lynch as David Dellinger, Eddie Redmayne as Tom Hayden, Mark Rylance as civil rights lawyer William Kunstler, Alex Sharp as Rennie Davis, Jeremy Strong as Jerry Rubin,
Joesph Gordon Levitt, Noah Robbins, Danny Flaherty, Ben Shenkman, Kelvin Harrison Jr., Caitlin Fitzgerald, Alice Kremelberg, John Doman, J.C. MacKenzie, Damien Young, Wayne Duvall, and C.J. Wilson also star.
Here is the official plot synopsis for The Trial of the Chicago 7.
“What was intended to be a peaceful protest at the 1968 Democratic National Convention turned into a violent clash with police and the National Guard. The organizers of the protest—including Abbie Hoffman, Jerry Rubin, Tom Hayden and Bobby Seale—were charged with conspiracy to incite a riot and the trial that followed was one of the most notorious in history.”
The Trial of the Chicago 7 debuts on Netflix on October 16, 2020.