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Chicago 10
DVD disk
09.25.2008 By: Sturdy
Chicago 10 order
Director:
Brett Morgen

Actors:
Hank Azaria
Nick Nolte
Mark Ruffalo

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

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WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
This is a documentary of the protests and subsequent brutality at the 1968 Democratic national convention in Chicago. A group of men were put on trial and eventually imprisoned for inciting the protests.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
Until watching CHICAGO 10, I was unaware of the protests and riots at the 1968 convention. Itís not something that gets much time in the history books and if anything, itís mentioned as an afterthought to the many Vietnam war protests. However, with the unique and innovative way of making a documentary, Brett Morgan has shed some light on one of the more disturbing events in Americaís history.

In case you donít know, the film is told with a mix of archived footage and animated courtroom scenes. The courtroom scenes are taken directly from the court transcripts, which makes it that much more interesting. If I had not known that, I would have surely bet that it was fictional, given the outlandish and despicable behavior of the judge presiding over the hearing. I also really liked the animation to tell the story. I felt it was better than having actors try to recreate what happened. Plus, it was mixed very well with the archived footage, so the audience never had a chance to get tired of one or the other.

As far as entertainment value goes, it was a little dry. While watching it, I felt like I was in a history class and that I would be quizzed afterwards. Thatís not a knock on the filmmaker (I think he did very well), itís just that the subject matter was too uneventful to merit a film over 90 minutes. With that said, I was interested in learning more about the events in the film and the people involved were fascinating.

For those that may be sensitive to politically themed films, this might rub you the wrong way. Itís clearly trying to draw correlations, although it never says so, between the election of 1968 and the election of 2008. Despite the political slant, I canít help but feel that our generation has somehow let down the Abbie Hoffmans and Jerry Rubins of the 1960ís.
THE EXTRAS
There are some Previews and a Video
FINAL DIAGNOSIS
I wouldnít recommend buying this film because I donít think itís one you can watch more than once. If youíre interested in American history, then I would recommend giving it a rental. Oh, and if youíre a history teacher, this is one that you should show your class.
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