L' Avocat de la Terreur [Terror's Advocate] (2007)
by Barbet Schroeder
Videos in this documentary
|1||L' Avocat de la Terreur (Terror's Advocate) (1/2)||Play Video|
|2||L' Avocat de la Terreur (Terror's Advocate) (2/2)||Play Video|
Who is Jacques Vergès? Moral conscience... or dark shadow? A manipulative, self-promoting, unscrupulous, amoral exploiter of misery as his critics claim, or a sensitive, empathetic defender of human dignity, even when the right to that dignity is claimed by individuals who have denied it to their victims? As a criminal lawyer, Vergès is quite forthcoming about his general motivations. "Evil fascinates me," he has said, "the more a man is accused the more interested I am." Vergès contends that crime, or criminality, is what separates men from beasts. He professes great empathy for the world's "accused." For all his charm and urbanity, Vergès represents a doorway to some very dark places indeed. For more than half-a-century, he has consorted with some of the most infamous figures of the post-WWII era, including Pol Pot, Mao Tse Tung, Slobodan Milosevic, Saddam Hussein, Carlos the Jackal, Klaus Barbie and other despots, tyrants, mass-murderers, torturers and terrorists of one political hue or another. Some were his clients, others his friends. In this controversial, ambiguous documentary, Barbet Schroeder lets his audience come to its own conclusions about the morality of Vergès' work.