“The Trial of the Chicago Seven” presents a timely political drama

Based on true events, Netflix adds to the conversation on political unrest.

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Courtesy of IMDb

Joshua Flores, Staff Writer

Taking place during the Vietnam War era, a significant time of political turmoil, “The Trial of the Chicago Seven” is a timely historical film that not only examines past concerns, but also reflects modern day social issues as well. Focusing on the racial and political injustice in the trial of these infamous members of both the Black Panthers and Students for Democratic Society, “The Trial of the Chicago Seven” emphasizes a long history of racism, polarization and inequality for those with radical views.

RELEVANT HISTORICAL DRAMA 

Both capturing some of the most iconic moments of the ‘60s and adding to the current conversation regarding race and police brutality, this recent Netflix release is informative, brutal and all too familiar to Americans today. While the moments documented in this film may feel distant, the themes and messages are more true than ever and allow for both a nostalgic look to the past, as well as a universal history lesson about prejudice, race and violence. Commenting on mistakes of the past and reflecting on our current climate, “The Trial of the Chicago Seven” is historical, yet still timely and important for every generation.

EXCELLENT PERFORMANCES 

“The Trial of the Chicago Seven” includes a number of famous actors who help bring authenticity and stellar performance to the small screen, including Eddie Redmayne, Joseph-Gordon Levitt and Alex Sharp. Throughout the film, performances are striking and often absorbing, making audiences feel so absorbed into the storytelling that it lacks the dull atmosphere of most historical dramas. Filled with wit and even a good number of laughs amid the serious subject matter, the actors included in this work help to not only sustain the film, but to convince audiences of the importance of this universal story.

1968 OR 2020 

Watching this film is oddly disturbing as audiences realize the clear correlations between the time of Richard Nixon’s election and the current presidency—the riots, the unrest, the conflict between civilians and the police and most importantly, the lack of democracy due to division. Whether it be 1968 or 2020, it is clear that the anger and fear that we see today is rooted in a history that brave men and women have been trying to fight for a long time. “The Trial of the Chicago Seven” brings to the screen a visual representation of what it means to be radical and how standing up to injustice is always challenging, but always necessary.

DIVERSE PERSPECTIVES 

One crucial component of “The Trial of the Chicago Seven” is the diversity present. Whether it be through the selection of actors or the viewpoints expressed, viewers are introduced to both the positive and negative on both sides of the trial and the political spectrum. This film calls for a thoughtful historical and political analysis. While favoring liberal leaning points of view, this film helps to make audiences aware that injustice is not political and that righting wrongs is the duty of all Americans, regardless of race. Providing relevant truths, Netflix sparks conversation and controversy, helping to share the stories of men who have often gone unnoticed in history.

MAKING HISTORY ACCESSIBLE

From the folds of a textbook, this trial may appear dull and seemingly unnotable. But in the form of a movie, this trial becomes an iconic, controversial moment in history that challenges societal norms and calls for an examination of protests, police and the values of the American people. While some may find the film a bit too vulgar, graphic and raw for our current climate, it is also a tool for subscribers to better understand American history and see patterns of injustice and discrimination that stem from our past. This recent release is certain to engage audiences with a new, explosive historical drama that is both memorable and searing, one that calls for action and will not be easily forgotten.

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