L' Avocat de la Terreur (Terror's Advocate) (2007) - Rotten Tomatoes

L' Avocat de la Terreur (Terror's Advocate) (2007)



Critic Consensus: Terror's Advocate is a fascinating portrayal of a controversial political figure; both morally unsettling and emotionally gripping.

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Movie Info

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 terrorists ranging from Magdalena Kopp to Anis Naccache, and even standing up for notorious Gestapo butcher Klaus Barbie. In addition to exploring the career of a man who has dedicated his life to defending the undefendable, director Schroeder also reveals the uncanny connections between the world's increasingly expansive blind terrorist networks.
Art House & International , Documentary , Special Interest
Directed By:
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News & Interviews for L' Avocat de la Terreur (Terror's Advocate)

Critic Reviews for L' Avocat de la Terreur (Terror's Advocate)

All Critics (42) | Top Critics (17)

The movie functions crackingly well as a non-fiction international thriller.

Full Review… | November 16, 2007
Toronto Star
Top Critic

The lawyer's intense isolation, his solitary, perverse rage against the world, against France, against conventional opinion, is felt most deeply.

Full Review… | November 16, 2007
Globe and Mail
Top Critic

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.

Full Review… | November 9, 2007
Seattle Times
Top Critic

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.

Full Review… | November 9, 2007
Boston Globe
Top Critic

Jacques Vergès makes for compelling documentary film fodder: He is arrogant, cosmopolitan, politically unpredictable and enmeshed in the roots of modern international terrorism.

Full Review… | November 2, 2007
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Critic

A panorama of European radicalism.

Full Review… | October 25, 2007
Washington Post
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for L' Avocat de la Terreur (Terror's Advocate)

Someone has to defend them I suppose. Here is the tale of the man who defends the undefendable. A friend of Carlos the Jackal and Nazis etc. The question to be asked why anyone would seek to assist these individuals. While the film doesn't end up definitively answering those questions, it nonetheless gives us a portrait of a unique if not defendable individual.

John Ballantine
John Ballantine

Super Reviewer


Upsetting, Frustrating, and Fascinating describes Terror's Advocate for me. I was pretty new to most of the material covered in the movie. So watching it with subtitles felt like a History Lecture without taking notes. Alot of it was frustrating to watch for me because you had full on terrorists/murderers sitting in a beautiful house being interviewed like its no big deal and what they did was okay and justified. I hope they make a movie based on the documentary cause there is tons of details to be covered that only a film could do it justice.

Paul Pastoor
Paul Pastoor

This movie jumps around the globe and in time so much I couldn't keep track of all the names and dates. There are occasional glimpses into this guys psyche (a strange combination of activist, defender of the defenseless, and amoral supporter of terrorists and murderers). But the story is too confusing and jumbled to keep track of the timeline. If I were a studying this guy, I'd have to watch this movie two or three times with diagrams and a notepad to understand what it's trying to say. Maybe that's just the way Verges wants it...

Ahr Zee
Ahr Zee

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