Terror’s Advocate (2007)


Jacque Vergès

Terror’s Advocate (aka L’Avocat de la Terreur) is a 2007 French documentary film about the controversial attorney Jacques Vergès.

Synopsis: 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 Algeria’s hopes for freedom on her shoulders, and was sentenced to death for planting bombs in cafés. Vergès 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. The filmmaker explores and questions the history of ‘blind terrorism’ and leads us towards shocking revelations that expose long-hidden links in history.

Don’t miss! The revived official website of TERROR’S ADVOCATE (English) (French)

TERRORS ADVOCATE trailer: (YouTube)

“’Terror’s Advocate’ is a fascinating portrayal of a controversial political figure; both morally unsettling and emotionally gripping.”Rotten Tomatoes (85% Rating)

“A brilliant study in the link between moral corruption and narcissism.” -David Edelstein,  New York Magazine

One of the most powerful films I saw” – Michael Moore, in The Brisbane Times


Review, J. Hoberman, Village Voice

VARIETY, Barbet Schroeder Talks

The Auteurs

DVD: Amazon

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