The Trial of the Chicago 7 is a very well written and directed movie. It tells the story of the Chicago 7 group that started the Anti-Vietnam war protests in 1968 and their infamous trial.
It does so in a splendid way but in its effort to limit the film to just 2 hours, some crucial things from the original trial have either been omitted or changed.
WHAT IS MISSING?
- Bobby Seale’s Treatment was even worse: The most disturbing scenes of the movie are the ones in which Bobby Seale, the only African American member from the Chicago 7 group to face the trail, is brutally beaten, gagged, and bound all on the commands of the judge Julius Hoffman. In the movie, he is rescued by prosecutor Richerd Schultz.
In real life, this never happens and Bobby was actually beaten more brutally with the marshals also hitting him in his genitals. No-one stopped the marshals. After this Bobby was given 4 years of imprisonment in a murder case.
- The trail featured some anti-war icons: the trail in the movie is just full of false testimonies and accusations against the CHICAGO 7 Group. The trail is shown to be perfectly unfair and only 1 person offers some defense in the trail.
In real life, there were 2 different lawyers who produce a number of high profile witnesses. These witnesses included folk singers, advocates, civil right activist, and a future presidential candidate, Jesse Jackson.
- Protests were a reaction to more than Vietnam: the movie just discusses the Vietnam War issue and treats it as the sole reason for the protest in 1968.
In reality, the public was already angry because of the assassination of Martin Luther King Junior followed by the assassination of Bobby Kennedy 2 months later. These things had already prompted the crowd to take to the streets and the Vietnam War issue acted as a catalyst.
All things considered, the movie is good to watch. If you want to brush up on your history and want to check out the movie, then go to Netflix where it is available since November.