How Aaron Sorkin’s Team Set Up ‘The Trial of the Chicago 7’ with a Sprawling Prologue — Exclusive Video

Narratively speaking, Aaron Sorkin’s “The Trial of the Chicago 7” stands apart from the rest of the Best Picture and Original Script nominees for its scope and multi-layered approach.

The fact-based drama balances three story threads in a “Rashomon” fashion: the overheated courtroom drama, how the peaceful demonstrations turned violent during the ’68 Democratic Convention in Chicago, and the bitter political rivalry between Tom Hayden (Eddie Redmayne) and Abbie Hoffman (Sacha Baron Cohen).That’s a lot of history and conflict to pack into 130 minutes, which is why Sorkin cleverly wrote a sprawling 12-page prologue to set up the whole movie, calling for archival footage, tricky tonal shifts, and jumping back and forth in time.

And the six and a half-minute sequence (view below) proved quite the challenge and opportunity for Oscar-nominated Alan Baumgarten to edit.

“It serves several purposes,” he said.

“It provides a bit of a history lesson,

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