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Aaron Sorkin's 'The Trial of the Chicago 7' hits Netflix on Oct. 16

Joseph Gordon Levitt as Richard Schultz in The Trial of the Chicago 7
Joseph Gordon Levitt as Richard Schultz in "The Trial of the Chicago 7." (Image credit: Netflix)

Aaron Sorkin's The Trial of the Chicago 7 will premiere on Netflix on Oct. 16, the streaming service has announced. And it's given us our first look at the film that details the protests at the 1968 Democratic National Convention in August.

The film, which as the name implies follows the trial of seven people charged in the uprising at the convention. For those of you not up on your history, there was a lot going on in America at the time. It was right in the middle of the Vietnam War. The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. had been assassinated on April 4, leading to riots in more than 100 cities. Robert F. Kennedy — who had been running for the Democratic nomination — had been killed on June 5. Dems, as the awful saying goes, were in disarray.

But Chicago Mayor Richard Daley was steadfast in his desire to have his city host the convention, and he wasn't going to let protests ruin it. But pretty quickly it became clear that protesters would come up against heavy-handed measures, all but ensuring more violence. The CIA infiltrated the protests. A pig, nominated by the Youth International Party to be its nominee for president, was seized. And just before the convention, police stormed neighborhoods for mass arrests of members of a Black Power group that allegedly was planning to assassinate eventual nominee Hubert Humphrey.

By the way, Richard Nixon was elected that year.

And you thought 2020 was weird?

Here's the synopsis of the film, as Netflix puts it:

What was intended to be a peaceful protest at the 1968 Democratic National Convention turned into a violent clash with police and the National Guard. The organizers of the protest—including Abbie Hoffman, Jerry Rubin, Tom Hayden and Bobby Seale—were charged with conspiracy to incite a riot and the trial that followed was one of the most notorious in history.

Given that this is an Aaron Sorkin jam, you know that the writing is going to be as good as it can get. You know that there will be twists and turns that you might not see coming, or that you see coming but the characters don't

In other words, you know this is going to be a must-watch come October — just in time for our own November election.

The Trial of the Chicago 7 stars Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Eddie Redmayne, Mark Rylance, Sacha Baron Cohen, and Jeremy Strong.

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Sacha Baron Cohen as Abbie Hoffman and Jeremy Strong as Jerry Rubin in The Trial of the Chicago 7.

Sacha Baron Cohen as Abbie Hoffman and Jeremy Strong as Jerry Rubin in The Trial of the Chicago 7. (Image credit: Netflix)
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Sacha Baron Cohen as Abbie Hoffman, Danny Flaherty as John Froines, Eddie Redmayne as Tom Hayden, Jeremy Strong as Jerry Rubin, and Mark Rylance as William Kuntsler in The Trial of the Chicago 7.

Sacha Baron Cohen as Abbie Hoffman, Danny Flaherty as John Froines, Eddie Redmayne as Tom Hayden, Jeremy Strong as Jerry Rubin, and Mark Rylance as William Kuntsler in The Trial of the Chicago 7. (Image credit: Netflix)
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Writer and director Aaron Sorkin in The Trial of the Chicago 7.

Writer and director Aaron Sorkin in The Trial of the Chicago 7. (Image credit: Netflix)
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Eddie Redmayne as Tom Hayden in The Trial of the Chicago 7.

Eddie Redmayne as Tom Hayden in The Trial of the Chicago 7. (Image credit: Netflix)
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Jeremy Strong in Trial of the Chicago 7.

Jeremy Strong in Trial of the Chicago 7. (Image credit: Netflix)
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Joseph Gordon Levitt as Richard Schultz in The Trial of the Chicago 7

Joseph Gordon Levitt as Richard Schultz in The Trial of the Chicago 7 (Image credit: Netflix)
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Yahya Abdul-Mateen II as Bobby Seale and Mark Rylance as William Kuntsler in The Trial of the Chicago 7.

Yahya Abdul-Mateen II as Bobby Seale and Mark Rylance as William Kuntsler in The Trial of the Chicago 7. (Image credit: Netflix)
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Jeremy Strong as Jerry Rubin in Trial of the Chicago 7.

Jeremy Strong as Jerry Rubin in Trial of the Chicago 7. (Image credit: Netflix)
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Sacha Baron Cohen as Abbie Hoffman in The Trial of the Chicago 7.

Sacha Baron Cohen as Abbie Hoffman in The Trial of the Chicago 7. (Image credit: Netflix)
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Frank Langella in "The Trial of the Chicago 7."

Frank Langella in "The Trial of the Chicago 7." (Image credit: Paramount Pictures)