Recapturing the ’60s, in DayGlo Colors





MORE than a year after the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago transformed the culture wars from metaphor to mayhem, Norman Mailer was still trying to make sense of what had happened.

Mr. Mailer, under oath as a witness in a federal conspiracy trial, recalled a 1967 conversation with Jerry Rubin, the Yippie leader and provocateur, about a “youth festival” that groups opposed to the Vietnam War were planning as a convention counterpoint.

“I was overtaken with the audacity of the idea,” Mr. Mailer testified, “and I said, ‘It’s a beautiful and frightening idea.’ ”

The protests, the brutal reaction of the police, and the conspiracy trial of eight leaders of the antiwar movement that followed are the subjects of a new documentary, “Chicago 10.” Mr. Mailer, who died in November, was an animated witness at the trial, according to contemporary news accounts. And he is animated in “Chicago 10” too, in a second sense — as a cartoon.


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