• Post category:Movies
  • Post last modified:July 19, 2017

Terror’s Advocate


terrorsadvocateThe director behind Reversal of Fortune (1990) returned to the courtroom, but this time for a simple, straight-forward documentary about one of the world’s most famous (and infamous) attorneys, Jacques VergĆ©s. With unmistakable delight, often with a cigar in his hand, the lawyer invites us into his world and constant balancing on the edge of the abyss, having defended high-profile murderers, terrorists and dictators like Klaus Barbie, Tariq Aziz and former Khmer Rouge head of state Khieu Samphan. However, the portrait becomes nuanced as VergĆ©s gets into the Algerian conflict of the 1960s and the marriage to one of his clients, the militant Djamila Bouhired. Many others contribute to a rich portrait and an often fascinating chronicle of the past decades.

2007-France. 137 min. Color.Ā Produced byĀ Rita Dagher.Ā Directed byĀ Barbet Schroeder.

Trivia:Ā Original title: L’avocat de la terreur.

Last word: “While at the beginning [VergĆ©s] was a heroic figure for me, he became a somewhat repulsive mystery. But as I love monsters, I wasnt going to look a gift horse in the mouth! But really, what thrilled me most was the opportunity, through VergĆ©s, of making a film about contemporary history, about our experience of the last 50 years, about what I too have lived through since the age of 13. So its also a film about my own political history, a look at my own life. Certainly, its not the same view I had while I was living through these eventsā€¦” (Schroeder, EmanuelLevy.com)

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