Aaron Sorkin’s latest film The Trial of the Chicago 7 tells the story of 8 activists who were prosecuted for allegedly instigating the riots at the 1968 Democratic Convention, which resulted in hundreds of injuries and arrests. And wouldn’t you know it, Netflix released a behind-the-scenes documentary just in time for awards season.
The historical drama has generated a decent amount of buzz, including nabbing Golden Globe nominations for Best Motion Picture – Drama and Best Supporting Actor for Sacha Baron Cohen. Cohen is part of an all-star cast that includes Yayha Abdul-Mateen II, Eddie Redmayne, Mark Rylance, Michael Keaton, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Jeremy Strong, Frank Langella, and John Carroll Lynch. In Netflix’s 30-minute behind-the-scenes documentary, titled The Whole World is Watching (a repeated mantra during both the DNC riots and the trial), Sorkin and each member of the principal cast breaks down the challenges they faced portraying real-life people at a pivotal moment in modern history and how the film ultimately came together. (Watch out for a particularly charming anecdote from Langella beginning around the 11:30 mark.) It’s an interesting supplement to the film that would make an excellent DVD extra for people wanting to learn more about the filmmaker’s process and obtain some additional context for the true-life event.
The Trial of the Chicago 7 is unmistakably an Aaron Sorkin movie, which is either a blessing or a curse depending on how you feel about his work. But the story and its characters are captivating, buoyed by an enormously talented cast and America’s explosively relevant current political climate. You can check out the documentary below. The Trial of the Chicago 7 is currently streaming on Netflix.