THE TRIAL OF THE CHICAGO 7 has mostly completed its Australian theatrical run and is now streaming online. The film covers the controversial 1969 trial of the anti-Vietnam War activists who were eventually labelled the Chicago 7. They were charged with conspiracy and inciting a riot. In 1968 the anti-war protests in Chicago aimed to change the policies of the Johnson administration as the Democratic National Convention took place. The subsequent violence between police and protesters shocked America.
Writer-director Aaron Sorkin (THE WEST WING, MOLLY’S GAME) has delivered an intense legal and political drama that utilises the talents of Mark Rylance, Frank Langella, Jeremy Strong, Eddie Redmayne and Sacha Baron Cohen among others. It combines the hook of a courtroom drama and the power of real-world events.
Originally scheduled for a much broader theatrical release, the film was sold to Netflix to maximise its reach in the pandemic-compromised U.S. market. A number of other films made a similar deal including THE LOVEBIRDS, THE CLOVERFIELD PARADOX and ENOLA HOLMES. The streaming service seemed their best alternative to losing out on the box office of a domestic release. Netflix has benefited further as the number of new subscribers has already exceeded the 26 million they gained worldwide in 2019.
Check out the Accessreel review of THE TRIAL OF THE CHICAGO 7. The movie runs for 2 hours and ten minutes. It does a fine job of dramatising a history that resonates with what we are seeing unfold in American politics today. (Netflix, from October 16)