REVIEW FILM: THE TRIAL OF THE CHICAGO 7 (2020)

On August 26-29, 1968, the Democratic National Convention took place at the International Amphitheater, Chicago, Illinois. The convention was held to elect the Democratic nominee: Either Vice President Hubert H. Humphrey or Senator Edmund S. Muskie of Maine. To fight in the United States (USA) Presidential Election in November 1968. Against Republican champion: Richard M. Nixon.

At that time, five years after the assassination of President John F. Kennedy (JFK), the political climate in America was hot. Which, among other things, was caused by the murder case of prominent human rights (HAM) fighters.Kennedy (RFK).

In addition, the foreign policy of the American government has also made the situation and conditions in the country even hotter. Especially, those related to the Vietnam War. Which has claimed the lives of thousands of US soldiers.

It was recorded that 282,000 American soldiers and their allies died there.Overall, there were about 1.353 million lives lost during the war.

Therefore, it is not surprising that from 1964 to 1973, there were demonstrations against the Vietnam War. Which demanded that the American government withdraw troops to end the war. Which is mostly done by students, college students, hippies, and mothers.

Yes, there are many mothers who have taken to the streets. Mainly, to protest the mandatory military policy implemented by the American government. At that time, thousands of boys from these mothers were required to fight for the country in Vietnam. And, tragically, the majority of them return home in name only.

In 1968, anti-Vietnam War demonstrations took place across the country. Including, in Chicago. Which, incidentally, was the ruling party in America at that time.

However, unfortunately, the demonstration in Chicago which was attended by about 15,000 people, which was originally intended as a peaceful protest, eventually turned into chaos and bloody riots. Precisely, after clashes between the demonstrators and the police. This resulted in hundreds of people being injured and seriously injured.

Conditions in America are getting hotter. Some time later, the results of a federal grand jury investigation named eight demonstrators and eight police officers as suspects. Who is accused of triggering the riots in Chicago. All of which have to undergo a trial. aka open trial. To determine a just punishment.

The case, suddenly, made a scene in the American community at that time. However, what attracted the most attention was the trial of the eight demonstrators. Which was later dubbed the Chicago 8. Who was accused of conspiracy and being the mastermind behind the riots.

The demonstrators, known as the Chicago 8, consisted of student activists, leaders of mass organizations, and black party leaders. They are Tom Hayden, Rennie Davis, Abbie Hoffman, Jerry Rubin, David Dellinger, Lee Weiner, John Froines, and Bobby Seale.

The government is trying to impose the harshest punishment on Chicago 8. At that time, the United States had changed its ruler from the Democratic Party to the Republican. Thanks to President Richard Nixon’s victory in the general election a few months earlier.

Meanwhile, the Chicago 8, with the exception of Bobby Seale, were defended by a pair of seasoned human rights lawyers: William Kunstler and Leonard Weinglass.

Initially, the Chicago 8 was tried together in a trial. Presided over by Judge Julius Hoffman. However, in the process, Black Panther Party leader Bobby Seale, who was not accompanied by a lawyer, was removed from the group and tried separately. Therefore, the designation Chicago 8, eventually, changed to Chicago 7.

In this long and tedious trial, which lasted almost a year, Americans were, in fact, more inclined to defend Chicago 7. Those they thought were innocent in the anti-Vietnam War protests. Which ended in chaos.

However, in the end, the trial results said otherwise. The jury found five people from Chicago 7 guilty. Because they have conspired and deliberately made a riot. The judge then sentenced them to five years in prison.

The controversial trial process was later turned into a film by director Aaron Sorkin. With the title The Trial of the Chicago 7. The film has been airing on Netflix since Friday (16/10) last week.

Initially, in 2006, Steven Spielberg had the idea to make this Chicago 7 movie. When he met Aaron Sorkin, the famous Hollywood director said he wanted to bring up the story of the Chicago riots. What happened during the Democratic National Convention in 1968.

Aaron Sorkin then wrote the screenplay in 2007. Then, the plan, Steven Spielberg would be the director. However, due to budget problems, the Chicago 7 film project was not realized.

However, even so, in truth, the project is not completely dead. After a long time, in 2018, finally, the project was revived. However, this time, the director is Aaron Sorkin himself.

Before gushing the film The Trial of the Chicago 7, in fact, Aaron Sorkin has only produced one feature film. Namely: Molly’s Game (2017). Starring Jessica Chastain.

However, although his experience as a feature film director has not been long, so far, Aaron Sorkin has been known as an excellent screenwriter. Especially, films with historical backgrounds, biographies, and true stories. Which, for one, has already earned him an Oscar. Namely: The Social Network (2010).

In addition to the film about the founder of Facebook, various quality film scripts have also been released by the filmmaker who was born on June 9, 1961. Call it: A Few Good Men (1992), The American President (1995), Charlie Wilson’s War (2007), Moneyball (2011), and Steve Jobs (2017).

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