“What was intended to be a peaceful protest at the 1968 Democratic National Convention turned into a violent clash with police and the National Guard,” the streaming service said of the film. “The organizers of the protest — including Abbie Hoffman, Jerry Rubin, Tom Hayden and Bobby Seale — were charged with conspiracy to incite a riot and the trial that followed was one of the most notorious in history.”
The film, written and directed by Sorkin, stars Eddie Redmayne as Hayden, Sacha Baron Cohen as Hoffman, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II as Black Panthers co-founder Seale and Succession’s Jeremy Strong as Jerry Rubin, while Frank Langella portrays Judge Julius Hoffman, who was dead-set on a conviction for the Chicago 7.
Michael Keaton, Mark Rylance, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and William Hurt also appear in The Trial of the Chicago 7, out October 16th on the streaming service.
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Arlo Guthrie — who appeared at the trial on the side of the defense — recently reflected on the incident to Rolling Stone: “It seemed as if there was [an anti-war] groundswell that came from the bottom up. And that didn’t suit the business people or the politicians. They were looking to find out who was responsible for this. Who’s responsible for all these protesters? So they invented leaders so that they could target the demonstrators.”
“I decided to show up and help make the point that I was sympathetic to [the defendants], even though I disagreed with how they were going about it,” he added. “The trial was trying to show that these guys were the bad guys, and that didn’t make any sense to me.”