M. Wizard on Documentary Film CHICAGO 10


Power to the People : Chicago Remembered
By Mariann Wizard / April 10, 2008 / The Rag Blog

I took a little time this afternoon and went to see the movie Chicago 10 at the Regal Arbor in Austin — it’s about the trial of the Chicago 8-slash-7, and the “10” in the title, my son’s girlfriend figured out, has gotta be the lawyers, Kunstler and Weinglass, who along with the defendants were all sentenced to varying amounts of time behind bars for contempt.

The movie has a killer soundtrack; LOUD!, which I liked, and combines black and white and color (colorized???) footage from 1968 and ’69 pretty seamlessly with animated courtroom scenes, drawn from news artists’ contemporary sketches. The neat thing about the documentary footage is that director Brett Morgen jiggles and bounces and mixes it like a club deejay workin’ a Smokey Robinson tune, so you see the movement even in the stills, the blood even in the b&w.

Chicago 10 has its limitations — for some reason, although Dr. King’s assassination and the ensuing riots are brought in — Robert Kennedy’s assassination goes unnoted, as does LBJ’s decision not to seek the presidency in 1968 and any mention of Hubert Humphrey. Gene McCarthy is mentioned once, in passing and dismissively, and the clash which finally occurred between Chicago’s finest and actual convention delegates, when the police riot spilled over into the delegates’ hotel, is way downplayed. Having said that, try to catch this limited engagement; it will get your feet moving reflexively to evade capture and keep ahead of the tear gas.

The movie ends with Bobby Seale, free at last, addressing a huge throng of supporters, probably in Oakland, and beginning with the words, “Power to the People”! Good slogan, anybody ever think about reviving it??

Go here to director Brett Morgen website.
Review of Chicago 10 in Mother Jones.
Review in Chicago Tribune.

CHICAGO 10 – Seale vs. Hoffman

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