The topical period piece is hardly a new phenomenon. Examining our past such that we might examine our present is a function of art, and if executed well a surefire way to be on everyone’s mind come awards season.
The Trial of the Chicago 7 tells the story of the aftermath of the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago. During that event, several groups came to the city to protest the war in Vietnam. Thousands of people protested for days before violence broke out, and the situation devolved into what we now know to be a police riot. The film picks up the following year when eight men, Abbie Hoffman, Jerry Rubin, David Dellinger, Tom Hayden, Rennie Davis, John Froines, Lee Weiner, and Bobby Seale are on trial for conspiracy to incite a riot.
Aaron Sorkin has been developing this film for years, but it’s hard to imagine a world where the timing of its release could be better.