With its themes of police brutality, civil rights, democracy and justice, the new Netflix film "The Trial of the Chicago 7" has much to say about America right now- despite being set 50 years ago.
Writer-director Aaron Sorkin's latest work dramatizes the Vietnam War protests at the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago that led to violent clashes with police, and the subsequent trial of the protest's leaders, known as the "Chicago 7." ACTOR JEREMY STRONG: "The movie has always been about today even though it's set in 1968, 1969…." Actor Jeremy Strong - best known as a corporate heir in "Succession" - slips into the hippie threads of late activist Jerry Rubin, one of the more notorious members of the Chicago 7, along with Abbie Hoffman, played by Sacha Baron Cohen.
ACTOR JEREMY STRONG: "I think the movie is a celebration of protest.
I think it's an exhortation to go out into the streets and to fight for the values that we need to fight for that are endangered…" Not that that was necessarily Sorkin's intention, as he first started writing the screenplay back in 2007 - the timing of its release somewhat uncanny, says actor Mark Rylance, who plays the group's late defense attorney, William Kunstler.
ACTOR MARK RYLANCE: "It's remarkable that this is the moment that it got made before Mister Floyd died, before COVID hit, before Black Lives Matter rose to its feet and said, 'That's enough'.
I imagine their hands were shaking as they were editing it." The cast is high on pedigree, with Eddie Redmayne as the group's relatively strait-laced rebel Tom Hayden and Frank Langella as trial judge Julius Hoffman.
"The Trial of the Chicago 7' is out in limited release in theaters, and debuts on Netflix October 16th.
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For 14 years, Aaron Sorkin has aimed to tell the story of the Democratic National Convention of 1968, where seven anti-Vietnam protestors were charged with inciting riots in Chicago. Now, "The Trial of..