Synopsis

At the 1968 Democratic Convention, protestors, denied permits for demonstrations, repeatedly clashed with the Chicago Police Department, who waged a week-long terror campaign that resulted in riots witnessed live by a television audience of over 50 million. The events had a polarizing effect on the country. Needing to find a scapegoat for the riots, the Government held eight of the most vocal activists accountable for the violence and brought them to trial a year later. The defendants represented a broad cross-section of the anti-war movement, from counter-culture icons Abbie Hoffman and Jerry Rubin to renowned pacifist David Dellinger. Seven of the defendants were represented by Leonard Weinglass and famed liberal attorney William Kunstler, who went head-to-head with prosecution attorney Thomas Foran. The eighth defendant, Bobby Seale, co-chair of the Black Panther Party, insisted on defending himself and was bound, gagged and handcuffed to his chair by Judge Julius Hoffman. From the start, the trial was a circus with the eight defendants on a collision course with the governmental authority.

Directors

Brett Morgen