The trailer for The Trial Of The Chicago 7, Aaron Sorkin’s film about the peaceful 1968 Democratic National Convention protest that turned violent, begins with activist Tom Hayden (Eddie Redmayne doing an American accent) reiterating the ‘peaceful’ part. He says: We’re coming to Chicago peacefully, but whether we’re given permits or not, we’re coming.
Cut to activists Abbie Hoffman (Sacha Baron Cohen) and Jerry Rubin (Jeremy Strong, who along with fellow protesters, find themselves up against armed cops in the streets. Prosecutor Richard Schultz (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) takes the activists to trial, where he alleges that they planned to start a riot. The proceedings are shambolic, with the judge tampering with the jury, not caring that one of the accused (Yahya Abdul-Mateen II as activist Bobby Seale) does not have a lawyer and objecting to witnesses who say the riots were started by the police. “This is my courtroom,” he says, simply, dismissing claims of racial discrimination. As word of the trial gets out, draws massive crowds congregate outside the court.
Based on true events, the trailer promises plenty of rousing courtroom moments and promises of a revolution. Also starring Mark Rylance, Michael Keaton and Frank Langella, the film releases on Netflix on October 16.