Sundance Review: Chicago 10
by Alex Billington
January 20, 2007
The premiere opening film and my first screening at Sundance, Chicago 10 follows the eight individuals put on trial following the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago. The film is an in-depth riot documentary that follows the trial and lead-up of the organizers and protestors in the "riots" of 1968, and reveals the most evil villain of them all - the police who used merciless brutality on the peaceful protestors. It's a fun film that breaks between a heavy mood, rock songs, and hippie themes and also dashes back and forth between an animated trial and archival footage.
It has its moments, like the lead-up to the final march on the Democratic National Convention, but the dysfunctional and disconnecting animation harms what little it had on its plate to begin with. It's a great attack on the Vietnam War and even our current day war in Iraq and praises the demonstrators. The film is like Marie Antoinette - an interesting attempt at stepping out of the ordinary bounds of its genre, but not really as successful or enjoyable. However, there are some truly heartwarming scenes, and by heartwarming I mean your heart being warmed like a stoned hippie dancing in the park. Chicago 10 features a comprisal of many great riot montages and fantastic editing, allowing you to actually cheer for the protestors at the end. Not at all a bad documentary, but I just have to ask: would I ever watch this movie again? Nope, not at a chance.