Synopsis by Clarke Fountain
This is a somewhat experimental radical-chic film made by director Jean-Luc Godard and the Dziga-Vertov filmmakers cooperative. It depicts a trial resembling that of the "Chicago Eight," in the U.S. in the '60s, and also shows something of the everyday lives of several of the defendants. Another issue touched on is the taut relationship of the Black Panthers with Chicago and Federal authorities. Included as part of the film are discussions by the director and cooperative members about what they have filmed, or are going to film, and how they plan to handle aspects of the movie. There is a great deal of political preaching, both within the story and in the filmmaker's discussions, and the film was considered to be somewhat heavy-handedly anti-U.S. at the time of its release. Godard is better known for some of his earlier films, such as Les Carabiners, A Bout de Souffle (Breathless), and Le Mepris.