L' Avocat de la Terreur (Terror's Advocate)
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Filmmaker Barbet Schroeder transcends the borders of the political and judiciary arenas to explore the mystery of a man who stands up for some of society's most deplorable figures. Enigmatic lawyer Jacques Vergès began his career by defending Djamila Bouhired -- an activist who became the manifestation of the people's hunger for freedom -- during the Algerian War of Independence. Later, after marrying his client and adopting an anti-colonialist stance, Vergès disappeared from the public eye for nearly a decade. Upon his return Vergès shocked the world by defending the rights of… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 86%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"The movie functions crackingly well as a non-fiction international thriller."
‑ Geoff Pevere, Toronto Star
"For just a moment, ignore politics. Consider Jacques Vergès simply as star. The radical French lawyer is an absolutely compelling figure onscreen: exotic, resolute, beguilingly smug."
‑ Mark Feeney, Boston Globe
"Ainda que falhe em decifrar seu complexo protagonista, o documentário estabelece um intrigante retrato de um homem cujos princípios morais e ideológicos eventualmente se tornam tão flexíveis quanto o espectro alcançado por sua clientela."
‑ Pablo Villaca, Cinema em Cena
"Though the film comes with a warning that it expresses only the point of view of its director, in reality, what Schroeder seems to offer is a portrait of a glib man who simply defies any conclusive description."
‑ Boyd van Hoeij, european-films.net
"[I]ntriguing enough, if a bit dry. But then a flick that seemed newsy, almost wonky, turns riveting..."
‑ MaryAnn Johanson, Flick Filosopher
"The lawyer's intense isolation, his solitary, perverse rage against the world, against France, against conventional opinion, is felt most deeply."
‑ Jason McBride, Globe and Mail
"Jacques Vergès makes for compelling documentary film fodder: He is arrogant, cosmopolitan, politically unpredictable and enmeshed in the roots of modern international terrorism."
‑ Tamara Straus, San Francisco Chronicle
"At its best, the documentary shows us an unsavory character answering a bunch of softball questions and whose best logic is to play the Third World race card."
‑ Dennis Schwartz, Ozus' World Movie Reviews
"If Terror's Advocate doesn't precisely interrogate the rise of terrorism, it does look at its romance and consider its effectiveness."
‑ Cynthia Fuchs, Nitrate Online
"If you want to see a who's who in terror, just take a peek at this guy's client list."
‑ Cherryl Dawson and Leigh Ann Palone, TheMovieChicks.com
"Schroeder's film, which combines interviews with many of the key figures in Vergès' career with grainy historical footage, lets its subject speak for itself but leaves little doubt of where the filmmaker stands."
‑ Moira MacDonald, Seattle Times
"A panorama of European radicalism."
‑ Stephen Hunter, Washington Post
"As riveting as it is dizzying, Schroeder's documentary thriller takes a mesmerising ad hominem approach to twentieth century terror, offering up for our judgement an advocate whose views ought to be indefensible."
‑ Anton Bitel, Film4
"Schroeder's approach to this controversial figure is more plodding than it should be."
‑ Sean Means, Salt Lake Tribune
"Barbet Schroeder's astonishing documentary is a glimpse into another world, and not one you would necessarily want to visit for too long."
‑ Liz Braun, Jam! Movies
More reviews for L' Avocat de la Terreur (Terror's Advocate) on Rotten Tomatoes