Film "Chicago 10" parallels '68 protests with Iraq

Wed Mar 5, 2008 8:15am EST
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By Christine Kearney

NEW YORK (Reuters) - A film about violent U.S. anti-Vietnam War protests in 1968 is not just another nostalgic Sixties movie, says director Brett Morgen, but instead seeks to reflect current opposition to wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

"Chicago 10" looks at the anti-war protests during the 1968 Democratic Convention and the ensuing circus trial of the "Chicago Seven" activists, including Abbie Hoffman and Jerry Rubin, which gained national attention.

Morgen told Reuters that he came up with the idea for the film, set against an historical backdrop not featured in the movie of politicians clashing over the Vietnam War, when the United States invaded Afghanistan in 2001 and Iraq in 2003.

"There is a war going on and there is opposition to the war, and there is a government trying to silence the opposition," Morgen said. "Ultimately I was telling a story about 2008, not 1968. And I was appropriating iconography and imagery from 1968 to tell the story about the current war."

Critics have praised the film as innovative for blending archival television footage with animation to reenact the trial and protests. The soundtrack features performers including Rage Against The Machine and Eminem to target a younger audience.

The Washington Post said it "breathes new life into a film genre that usually has all the imagination and verve of a visit to Madame Tussauds" and The Los Angeles Times said it succeeded in making the events interesting to a younger generation.


Morgen persuaded top actors to voice the animated figures, including Nick Nolte, Mark Ruffalo, Liev Schreiber, Jeffrey Wright and Hank Azaria, who plays Hoffman.   Continued...

<p>Director of the film Chicago 10, Brett Morgen, addresses the crowd during the opening night premiere of the film to begin the Sundance Film Festival at Eccles Theatre in Park City, Utah January 18, 2007. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson</p>