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Terror's Advocate (2007)

L'avocat de la terreur (original title)
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A documentary on Jacques Vergès, the controversial lawyer and former Free French Forces guerrilla who has defending unpopular figures such as Nazi war criminal Klaus Barbie and Holocaust denier Roger Garaudy.


2 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »



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Credited cast:
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Bassam Abu Sharif ...
Himself (archive footage)
Abderrahmane Benhamida ...
Djamila Bouhared ...
Bachir Boumaza ...
Maître Brahimi ...
Louis Caprioli ...
Carlos ...
Himself (voice)
Nuon Chea ...
Isabelle Coutant-Peyre ...
Jean-Paul Dollé ...
Zohra Drif-Bitat ...
Herself (as Zohra Drif)
Himself (archive footage)
Lionel Duroy ...


An examination of the career of Jacques Vergès (1925- ), attorney for members of Algeria's FLN, Palestine's FPLP, the Khmer Rouge, Carlos and associates, Klaus Barbie, and other revolutionaries and outcasts. Archival footage, news articles, and photographs mix with contemporary interviews of Vergès, friends, associates, and historians. Connections with Nazis are explored, as well as Vergès's marriage to Djamila Bouhared, his courtroom methods, his disappearance from 1970 to 1978, and the roots of his radicalism. Throughout, Vergès remains playful and charming, with a soupçon of arrogance. The film suggests Vergès's anti-colonial nature is at his center. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Dictators. Terrorists. War Criminals. Meet the man who defended them all.


Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





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Release Date:

6 June 2007 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Terror's Advocate  »

Filming Locations:



Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$11,197, 14 October 2007, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$41,938, 4 November 2007
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


Jacques Vergès: I was asked "Would you defend Hitler?" I said "I'd even defend Bush! But only if he agrees to plead guilty."
See more »


Referenced in Siskel & Ebert: The Best of 2007 (2007) See more »

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User Reviews

arrogant douche documentary
4 October 2015 | by See all my reviews

Jacques Vergès has been the defense attorney for members of the Khmer Rouge, Algerian FLN, Palestinian PFLP, and other terrorists. It starts with him as a French foot soldier. As a young lawyer, he's contacted by the Algierian resistance and he became their sympathetic disruptive famous lawyer. Using footage from "The Battle of Algiers", it tries to explain the struggle. It's mostly his friends, clients and supporters in this movie.

The movie starts with him defending Khmer Rouge leaders and that's really annoying. This is very much an one-sided monologue. It's somewhat interesting to follow his life and career but he's a fanatic. He's not some ACLU lawyer looking to ensure rights of the condemned. This guy has no objectivity or sympathy other than for his clients. It feels like the movie is preaching to the choir. There is also an arrogance to the man that is off-putting. I don't know why he won't reveal where he was for those years. He's there smoking his cigar and I'm sure the documentarians must have asked. It's part of his superiority complex. It's not until the Nazi connections that the movie gets interesting but that takes over an hour to get there. However the movie fails to connect all the dots. This documentary fails to answer some very basic questions about who this guy is and where he comes from. The investigation is incomplete.

Then there is the style of the documentary. It is non-stop talking heads make it rather boring. It's like trying to cobble together a narrative with each witness giving one or two sentences. Most docs use a narrator to direct and drive the discussion. This one needs something more than talking heads talking. This feels like a rambling run-on sentence.

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