The Yippies at the 1968 Democratic Convention gave themselves body and soul to protesting the injustice. The same can be said of Brett Morgen’s determination to make his documentary about the riots and the trial that resulted from them more than just a look back at an interesting moment in American history. When I spoke to him on February 21, 2008, the relevance of those times to the current political climate was much on his mind, along with verisimilitude in animation, and Abbie Hoffman’s hair.
It’s hard to get across just how scary the Yippies were to the status quo at the time, and how shocking it still is to see a defendant gagged and tied to his chair at his own trial. Morgen’s passion for the subject is evident in every frame of film, and sweeping the audience along in its exploration of the roots of radical politics, and how the definition of radical changes over time. It also makes us all miss Abbie Hoffman all the more, for his wit, his creativity, and his obsession with turning society on its head.