As I write this, hundreds and hundreds of Farmers are protesting against some new laws about 200-250 KM away from where I am. They are staying almost in open in the night and the winter season is in full flow right now. Almost none of them have masks on by the way. And there have already had a huge scuffle with the Government via the Police.
Democracies like ours give us rights to protest. But sometimes the size and motivation of the protests grows larger than what can be handled. Also, there are powers in the authority who believe that such protests are not worth the time and they must be dealt with iron fists. And then there are clashes when both the government and the governed are equally adamant.
The Trial of the Chicago 7 is a movie by Aaron Sorkin. So you can expect amazing dialogues and conversations when almost all of the movie is a courtroom scene. It deals with the fag end of the Vietnam War when citizens of US were getting tired of the length of the struggle. The war was just being dragged to satisfy the ego of a few but it was resulting in large number of casualties of young Americans. Drafting of youngsters into the army was becoming a big deal. So many voices started to crop up in order to curtail the unnecessary war efforts and pacify the government to backtrack.
Many organisations called for protests in Chicago. A large number of students, citizens, African American rights groups, and the quintessential 70s junta comprising of the Hippies marched towards Chicago to protest
However things turned ugly and violence ensued. The movie deals with the trial of 7 leaders who called for the protest.
I have always been a fan of courtroom dramas and this movie delights me to the fullest. The cast, led mostly by Sacha Baron Cohen and Eddie Redmayne, and supported by Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Mark Rylance, and Frank Langella, is solid by all means. The movie gives you enough ground to understand the serious perspectives of all sides. But the scenes are mostly stolen by Cohen’s one liners which lighten the mood and makes you wonder, what kind of mentality and movement was there, when the name of the revolution was called ‘Flower Power’.
I liked The Trial of Chicago 7. It is a compelling courtroom drama and raises the important debate about Protests and Rights in a democracy.
P.S.: Cohen played Abbie Hoffman who was a hippie rebel. He wrote a book called ‘Steal This Book’. Imagine what happened to the book when people saw it in the bookshops.