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Aaron Sorkin explains why 'The Trial of the Chicago 7' became more relevant "in the most chilling ways"

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Niko Tavernise/NETFLIX © 2020(NEW YORK) — Aaron Sorkin is breathing a sigh of relief now that his 2007 pet project, The Trial of the Chicago 7, will finally see the light of day.

The film, which follows a group of anti-Vietnam War protesters who are put on trial for allegedly inciting riots at the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago, took 14 years for Sorkin to get released. Sorkin tells ABC Audio that even though his historical drama centers on a specific time of civil unrest, it’s still just as timely for today.

“We thought the film was relevant while we were making it last winter,” he says. “We didn’t need it to get more relevant, but in the most chilling ways it has. When I watch CNN or ABC’s coverage of the clashes between protesters and the police, I think if you just degraded the color on that a little bit, it would look exactly like the news footage we are using from ’68.”

Besides retelling an important story, Sorkin believes his film also sheds light on the injustice that Black Panther co-founder Bobby Seale endured when he was initially charged with the group before his case was later separated. 

“You can’t tell the story of the Chicago 7 without telling Bobby’s story,” he says. “This man who just would not allow himself to be bulldozed by this judge and this system.”

“Would not — until his last moment in the courtroom — shut up when the judge tells him to shut up until he’s finally in an American courtroom bound and gagged,” Sorkin continues, sharing some of the harrowing events that actually took place in court. “And you can’t not tell this story without telling that story.”

The Trial of The Chicago 7, starring Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, is now available on Netflix.

By Candice Williams
Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

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