Terror's Advocate

Director: Barbet Schroeder
Year Released: 2007
Rating: 3.0

Chilling peek into the career of Thai-French lawyer Jacques Vergès and his history of (eagerly) defending some incredibly nebulous characters, like Nazi Klaus Barbie and scoundrels who kill innocent people (he's also been linked with Carlos the Jackal, though he doesn't like to talk about that). He's slick and shifty and easily dodges Schroeder - the man is a lawyer after all - although you could argue that Schroeder's letting Vergès' record and disturbing ideation with terrorists speak for itself (and expecting the audience to draw its own conclusion). I'm personally not sure if Vergès is an evil man at heart or a political radical trying to change the world in some distorted way, and he's so studied and precise it's tough to judge if he helps these people for the challenge (and notoriety) of the case (defending the obviously guilty as an intellectual challenge) or if he believes there's some good in everyone no matter what he or she has done or if he appreciates the role pure evil plays in the world but can't do the acts himself. Maybe the one man from the French Secret Service is right: those that know about Vergès will have to wait until he dies to start discussing the details - they're afraid he'll sue them - although I'm confident even then he'll still remain an enigma wrapped in a riddle and surrounded by a cloud of cigar smoke.