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.
To Riverside County authorities the following information may concern: I have reason to believe that Paul Krassner was behind the recent so-called children's school strike against the Iraq War at Desert Hot Springs High School on 1/8 in an effort to generate publicity for a anti-war movie he helped script about the sixties, "Chicago 10", that was shown recently, 1/17-1/27, at the Sundance Film Festival, in an attempt to help acquire a distributor for the film, without which it would be a financial failure, its current status. As to the intentions of this well known homosexual, bisexual pervert, where he is coming from and his attitude towards children, you can see from his own words in a piece written by him for the LA Times. The Parts Left Out of "Chicago 10" by Paul Krassner ...Now we were tripping on LSD as the hurricane reached full force. "Hey," Abbie yelled over the roar, "this is powerful [bleepin'] acid!"...On the afternoon of December 31, several...friends gathered at the Hoffman's Lower East Side apartment, smoking Columbian marijuana and planned for Chicago....PAUL: Did you ever see that movie, "Wild in the Streets? [A thought balloon shows the image of a group of teenagers dumping LSD into the water supply.]...I decided to take a tab of LSD at lunch before testifying...For millions of young people LSD served as ...deprogramming...from mainstream culture... The need for brevity affects context in the above, but his encouragement of drug use, etc., remains clear in the full reading of the 1/28 LA Times article. The crass effort by this irresponsible predator to generate publicity for a movie using a school strike disgusts some of us in its misuse of school children for motives of money and profit. This note was originally sent to Desert Hot Springs High School teachers and administrators directly touched by the strike with the suggestion that they, as Riverside County residents, might want to contact child abuse authorities for further investigation. The extent to which ordinary people are cowed by celebrity prompts this follow up letter from LA County residents who are perhaps closer to the issue. Excuse the anonymity of myself and my contacts, unavoidable given the nature of the film industry. We are already being accused of being anti-Semitic and homophobic in making our information known though a good half of us fall into the above two categories in some manner. The issue transcends name calling and is a matter of a violation of the public trust for reasons of personal profit. It goes one step beyond the outrageous Cartoon Network stunt in Boston in its use of children as the vehicle for publicity and deserves further investigation to insure that such things do not happen again.
Martha Turner on Feb 1, 2007
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