Communist, anti-colonialist, right-wing extremist? What convictions guide the moral mind of Jacques Vergès? Oscar-nominated director 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 her country’s hopes for freedom on her shoulders and was sentenced to death for planting bombs in cafes. He 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 defence of terrorists of all kinds. He represented historical monsters. From the lawyer’s inflammatory and provocative cases to his controversial terrorist links, the jaw-dropping documentary follows the winding trail left by this ‘devil’s advocate’ as he forges his unique path in law and politics - questioning the history of ‘blind terrorism’ through Schroeder’s penetrating investigation of this compelling man, leading us towards shocking revelations that expose long-hidden links in history.