In late November 1999, masses are descending upon Seattle for the World Trade Organization (WTO) Conference, the first ever held on American soil. Beyond the several delegates, career protesters are also coming to Seattle, they who believe the non-elected organization only exists to support corporate interests at the expense of the poor, working class and the environment among other things. Before the conference, the lead known protesters vow that their demonstrations will be peaceful, while Seattle Mayor Jim Tobin promises that if that be the case that no arrests will be made and no aggressive action, such as the use of tear gas, will be issued. On day one of the conference, tensions on both sides escalate the confrontation between police and protesters, with many innocent people caught in the crossfire. As such, what was promised ends up not happening during the remainder of the conference, where many on both sides work not for the greater good of their side, but rather for their ... Written by
Directorial debut of actor Stuart Townsend. See more »
The actor playing Governor Gary Locke speaks English in a thick Chinese accent. Gary Locke is a third generation Asian-American born and raised in Washington state who speaks perfect English in a North Western American accent. See more »
A Special Thanks to AWI and Ben White (who passed away in July of 2005) for the creation of the sea turtle costumes and the coordination of their use in protests against the World Trade Organization (WTO) in Seattle, Washington in 1999. We are indebted to various non-profit organizations and individuals who aided with manufacturing the costumes, and to the Animal Welfare Institute (AWI) and Ben White for creating the idea for the sea turtle costumes. It was AWI's international coordinator, Ben White, who created those costumes and came up with the idea to put hundreds of people in sea turtle costumes on the streets of Seattle. We will miss Ben and his dedication to make the world a better place. See more »
Review from Dublin International Film Festival, February 2008
As we settled into our seats in Screen One in the Savoy Cinema, Dublin, Ireland, we wondered how on earth Stuart Townsend could exposit the intricate workings of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) to an audience who probably had no idea that it even existed.
We were not disappointed. From the breathtaking opening sequence, to the exhilarating ending, we were on the edge of our seats.
There were some outstanding performances André Benjamin as Django (from the band Outkast) and Michelle Rodriguez as Lou (best-known in Europe for the TV series 'Lost') in particular were superb as two of the demonstrators. André injected an unfailing sense of humor and light relief into this serious topic, and managed to turn his unusual headgear into a clever statement about endangered species. Michelle gave her character exceptional depth and feeling, and handled a complicated emotional sub-plot with a mixture of both detachment and passion that worked so well on screen.
Charlize Theron played an innocent bystander, Ella, who was trapped in the violent maelstrom, with horrific consequences for both her own character and her character's husband.
During the Q&A with Stuart and Charlize at the end of the movie, an audience member stood up an employee of the World Bank. She began by saying how cautious she was about coming to a movie about the WTO, but that she had to applaud Stuart for handing such a difficult subject so fairly. Her comments were echoed by a Trade Advocacy officer from a well-known Irish development charity, who congratulated him on creating a movie which managed to be both factually accurate and entertaining.
For anyone who has ever wished that this world was a better place, this movie is a must-see. For everyone else, this is a heart-warming movie about the power of the human spirit to overcome, to work together and to forgive.
(And as a footnote, Stuart gave free passes to the screening to protesters from the Campaign to Save Tara, who are still demonstrating against the construction of a new highway, the M3, in the historical valley at the Hill of Tara in Ireland. Stuart walks his talk.)
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