Terror's Advocate

L'Avocat de la terreur

Dir. Barbet Schroeder

France 2007 | Colour | 132 mins | Cert 12A

Communist, anti-colonialist, right-wing extremist? What convictions guide the moral mind of Jacques Vergès? Barbet Schroeder takes us down history’s darkest paths in his attempt to illuminate the mystery behind this enigmatic figure. As a young lawyer during the Algerian war, Vergès espoused the anti-colonialist cause and defended Djamila Bouhired, ‘la Pasionaria’, who bore her country’s hopes for freedom on her shoulders and was sentenced to death for planting bombs in cafés. He obtained her release, married her and had two children with her.  Then suddenly, at the height of an illustrious career, Vergès disappeared without trace for eight years. He re-emerged from his mysterious absence, taking on the defense of terrorists of all kinds, from Magdalena Kopp and Anis Naccache to Carlos the Jackal. He represented Historical monsters such as Nazi lieutenant Klaus Barbie. From the lawyer’s inflammatory and provocative cases to his controversial terrorist links, Barbet Schroeder follows the winding trail left by this ‘devil’s advocate’, as he forges his unique path in law and politics.

Available on: DVD

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