The Trial of the Chicago 7 2020 Movie Police forces lining up in front of the police station where Eddie Redmayne as Tom Hayden is being held

The Trial of the Chicago 7 [2020]

Movies like The Trial of the Chicago 7 are always relevant and important and it would be an overstatement to say especially nowadays. Based on true events, this is not only an engaging courtroom drama but also an exciting thriller following one crazy day in Chicago. I will try to avoid all the political implication, if such a thing is possible, because it’s best that you draw your own conclusions not just from this movie but from the events and characters it details. How things used to be and how are they now, but more about that later. For now, let’s focus on why you should check it out.

Powered by strong performances and well-written dialogue, The Trial of the Chicago 7 brings back the spirit of the sixties. A time when a lot of changes and progress happened because of brave individuals willing to put their lives on the line. You can feel the energy in the air and the atmosphere of the movie conveys that. It never gets bogged down in righteous speeches or prolonged pretentious sequences always keeping an eye on the score. And by score, I mean the pacing that was just right. To go along with that you have great cinematography completing the package of an awesome movie. The story keeps going back and forth between the events that happened and subsequent trial in order, so once you start watching it, you really want to know what happened in the end.

It is the year of our lord Satan 1968 and the Democratic Party is about to hold its annual convention in the city of Chicago. At the same time, seven young and determined young men are preparing a massive protest next to the venue for the convention. Fast-forward several months later and we find our Chicago seven indicted for inciting a riot. What actually happened and how the trial will go is up to you to find out in this excellent movie.

Intense, emotional, and above all, uplifting, The Trial of the Chicago 7 will introduce to you a set of very interesting characters. Characters that might bring you a bit of hope and optimism in these dark times. Led by Eddie Redmayne, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, and Sacha Baron Cohen, the cast was simply marvelous and did justice to their real-life counterparts. Dealing with a lot of important issues like the Vietnam war, police brutality, corruption, and general injustice, this an all-encompassing freeze-frame of a country in turmoil.

A turmoil that only got worse over the years and while there was some hope in the sixties, today it’s all but gone completely. The machine has taken over almost everything and change is just a word that’s not likely to happen. After that famous and often mentioned Slavoj Zizek sentence: “But I’m a pessimist”, I have to say that exactly these conditions unknowingly carry within them an unavoidable change. For the better, I hope.

And if I might add just one more little thing it’s that this time of protest and uprising didn’t bring the wanted results. It did bring a measurable amount of progress but that amount is still far away from the needed changes. What we need to do everywhere in the world is to think, talk, unite and only then act. We need a new system of values and to explain why the old, tribal system is so bad for humanity. This is something that people have tried to do for centuries and now it’s our time to carry the torch. And not to go quietly into that fucking night.

Finally, I wouldn’t want to leave an impression that what these young men and women accomplished was all in vain. Because that’s not what happened. I admire their courage, knowledge and willingness to get off their ass and do something. That especially goes for Fred Hampton who was at a forefront of organizing a viable opposition movement that could change the minds of the people.

There you go, I couldn’t help this little rant. In the end, if you want to check out more movies like this I recommend: Richard Jewell, The Best of Enemies, Kill the Messenger, The Insider and Dark Waters. And if you want to know more about the world we live in, I suggest you check out Adam Curtis documentaries The Century of the Self and HyperNormalisation as well as Slavoj Zizek’s The Pervert’s Guide to Cinema and just as good sequel The Pervert’s Guide to Ideology. Enjoy.

Director: Aaron Sorkin

Writer: Aaron Sorkin

Cast: Eddie Redmayne, Alex Sharp, Sacha Baron Cohen, Jeremy Strong, John Carroll Lynch, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Frank Langella

Fun Facts: In the movie Renie Davis keeps a notebook with all the names of US soldiers that died in Vietnam during the trial. In real life he wrote down the names of Vietnamese soldiers as well.


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