The Trial of the Chicago Seven | Maureen Good


In the recent Aaron Sorkin signed Netflix production, the award-winning screenwriter dons the director's cap and leads a star cast to take us on a journey through the infamous trial of the Chicago seven.

The eponymous movie relates the trial of seven figures of the popular resistance to the Vietnam War in 1960s United States following riots during protests at the 1968 democratic national convention. In this gripping courtroom drama, Sorkin once again displays total mastery of his craft from exposition to resolution. His control of language and unique wielding of words is only matched by his impeccable story structure: cleverly introducing from the very first act elements which will later play a crucial role both in forwarding the plot and developing his characters, Sorkin lays out this historical drama at a perfect pace, knowing when to speed his story up and when to give the audience some time to catch their breaths in yet another display of complete control of the use of a courtroom for the purpose of storytelling. Indeed, he has affirmed on several occasions that courtroom dramas offered the perfect setup for screenwriting, with the jury as the convenient stand-in for the audience, fulfilling the obligatory role of the character who "knows as little as the audience" and whose appearance enables the storytelling to start. Whilst many filmmakers thrive on breaking established cinematic rules, Sorkin does the opposite by strictly adhering to the rule book, expanding his creativity within the confines of the Aristotelian guidelines. The appearance of his name on the director's chair in recent years is a testament to the success of his particular brand of storytelling.

Did you know about the trial of the Chicago Seven, or will Sorkin's take be your first introduction to this US cultural moment?

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