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DOCNZ 2007: Chicago 10

DOCNZ 2007: Chicago 10

Asia Pacific Premiere

USA 2007 / 104min.
Director Brett Morgen / Producer Brett Morgen, Graydon Carter

“A Democratic Convention is about to begin in a Police State”, the venerable broadcaster and conscience of the nation, Walter Cronkite declares grimly on national television.

Chicago, 1968: The Democratic National Convention and the city is militarized in anticipation of the arrival of the “Yippies”. The Yippies came to protest the war in Vietnam and groove to rock ‘n’ roll. A showdown ensues in which the resolute demonstrators are subdued with tear gas and truncheons by Mayor Daley’s men.

The “Chicago 8” including the charismatic Abbie Hoffman are put on trial, charged under the Anti-Riot Act, and the Generation “Gap” quickly becomes a Gulf.

Chicago 10 is a revolutionary retelling of the story of the Siege of Chicago that pushes the boundaries of documentary with its re-enactments of the trial done completely in animation. With voice overs by Nick Nolte, Hank Azaria, and others, the trial sequences function almost as a form of comic relief from the unrelenting intensity of the footage of the confrontations in the parks and streets of Chicago.

The current political context in the U.S. makes it impossible to treat Chicago 10 as mere nostalgia. Will it be the Republicans’ turn in 2008? From the producer of An Inconvenient Truth and Syriana, Chicago 10 with its pounding rock ‘n’ roll soundtrack engages, stimulates and flat out entertains you from start to finish.


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