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DVD Review: Chicago 10


The Chicago 10 were eight protest organisers who were put on trial for inciting a riot, plus thye two lawyers that represented them. Apparently this was a famous trial, but don't feel bad if you've never heard of it, as I hadn't either. This film, coincidentally titled Chicago 10, is a documentary about this trial and the events leading up to it. Ah, but there's a twist... part of it is animated! Yeah! Woot-woot! Too bad it feels totally out of place. This isn't traditional animation, it's like drawing over live action, sorta like that really dumb Keanu Reeves movie a little while back. I don't see the point, here. It was more distracting than anything. I would have much preferred to see real live actors playing these people. I also didn't like Roy Scheider as the voice of the judge. He sounded way too much like a guy doing a voice for some exaggerated cartoon character.

However, that's not to say this film wasn't at least partially interesting. But let me start from the beginning. The year was 1968, and the Vietnam war was raging on. A lot of people hadn't taken too kindly to this, and various groups had been formed that were against the war. Now, the Democratic National Convention was about to be held, and so several prominent people from these various groups decided to organize a protest, which was also called something like a life festival. At any rate, they applied for permits to protest, but were constantly refused. Oh this crazy government, they just love violating the Constitution of the United States of America. So everyone gathered in the park, and when nighttime came, they had nowhere to go. All the hotels were full for the Democratic convention, and they were unable to obtain permission to sleep in the park, so the police were sent in and things got violent. If the people would have just been left alone, everything would have been fine, but noooooo, this government is run by idiots (seems to be a constant).

So the leaders of this get together were picked out and put on trial. These were Abbie Hoffman, Jerry Rubin, David Dellinger, Tom Hayden, Rennie Davis, John Froines, Lee Weiner, and Bobby Seale. They were called the Chicago 8. Oddly enough, Black Panther co-founder Bobby Seale had only been in the state for a couple of hours. The judge for the trial was Julius Hoffman, and this guy was a total douchebag. He was completely and totally biased against the defendents, which was obvious to anyone and everyone watching the trial, as he always sided with the prosecutor and would always shut down the defense, even if it meant violating that pesky United States Constitution. He even went so far as to bind and gag Bobby Seale to a chair, refusing to allow him to defend himself. Throughout this joke of a trial, Hoffman and Rubin would constantly show contempt in various ways, trying to lighten the mood and show how extremely stupid this trial was. Unfortunately, this would end up getting them additional jail time.

In the end, everyone was found not guilty of conspiracy, but most were found guilty of "crossing state lines with the intent to incite a riot". Thankfully, the convictions are eventually overturned, but that didn't stop these guys from spending at least a couple years behind bars for basically being good Americans. It was stunning, and shocking, and kind of interesting. The trial was done in the animated format, where the events leading up to the trial was all old footage and interviews, which I enjoyed seeing. Some parts can be hard to watch, not because it's graphic or anything, but because you see how completely screwed up our justice system can be when there are retards running things. As for the extra features, there basically aren't any. There's some music video remix which is dull, and then some previews, which I don't consider to be a special feature.

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