7.2/10
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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.

Director:

Barbet Schroeder
2 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

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

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

Taglines:

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


Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

France

Language:

French | German | English | Khmer

Release Date:

6 June 2007 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

Terror's Advocate See more »

Filming Locations:

Algiers, Algeria See more »

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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

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Quotes

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 »

Connections

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

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User Reviews

 
documentaries don't get much better than this
30 November 2008 | by marymorrisseySee all my reviews

the film begins with a credit, as stated in other reviews, that it represents the point of view of the director. the material is ambiguous but it seems to me pretty clear that Schroder respects Verges. I disagree strongly with the person who imagines it'd be more "interesting" to watch a doc about lawyers who represent people they despise and wonder what at all would be interesting about that. yes the film leaves some questions unanswered and in the interest of covering more ground on its subject does not get bogged down with some details about the role in history of some of the figures involved. this hardly means that the film was formless, incoherent, but as another reviewer mentioned the film requires the viewer to think, does not hand over conclusions wrapped up in a nice package with a bloody bow on top. It seems indisputable that Verges was a *collaborator* with those of his clients involved in "the struggle" against colonialism, whom he viewed as nothing more or less than soldiers, some honorable and some not so much. He took on the indefensible case of barbie to hold up a mirror to France's record in algeria. I don't really understand peoples' confusion about schroder's point of view of this complicated but far from unfathomable character. I appreciate that this film points the way to other viewing cf the battle of algiers.


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