Brett Morgen / US, 2007 / 110 min.
They became known as the Chicago 8, the counterculture icons and pacifists who got arrested during the antiwar demonstrations surrounding the Democratic National Convention of 1968. What started off as a peaceful protest led to a brutal clash with the Chicago police. This original mix of animation and special archival footage switches between the protests in the streets of Chicago and the chaos in the courtroom.
Eight activists were held responsible for the violence during the antiwar demonstrations in Chicago, they were tried in 1969. One of the defendants, Bobby Seale of the Black Panthers demanded the right to represent himself as his attorney was recovering from an illness. Angry at being denied the right to speak up for himself, he was chained to his chair and gagged: "We may be non-violent, but we are stubborn."
Author Norman Mailer wrote an account of the trial. Abbie Hoffman, one of the Chicago 8, later commented: "It was conceived as total theater, with everybody being an actor."
chaos in the courtroom
This engrossing reconstruction is based on the court transcripts of the trial. The original mix of animation and special archival footage switches between the protests in the streets of Chicago and the chaos in the courtroom. Chicago 10 tells the momentous story of young Americans speaking out against a repressive government.
Fifty years ago, students, factory workers and filmmakers challenged the Establishment, from Paris to Mexico City, carrying not only bricks but also agile and light 16mm cameras.