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
During the first phone conversation with Governor Gary Locke, Mayor Jim Tobin ends the conversation with, "Thank you John." not "Thank you Gary." See more »
I don't blame you. I mean, I do, but... Shit, you're not the problem. You're just doing your job, i guess. The people I'm really trying to fight are the ones who destroy so much, and they hurt so many lives. Not just one. Literally, millions. And no one ever points a gun at them. You know, they just seem so, unaccountable. Untouchable. Just seems kind of fucked that you're... You and me are the ones that have to fight each other.
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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 »
This docu-drama about the WTO riots in Seattle in 1999 is made in the same style as "Bloody Sunday", "United 93", and "Battle for Haditha": it just shows events in real time without comment. We follow everyone here from the ground up; the protest groups, the cops on the street, their commanders, city officials, a news reporter, and innocent bystanders. Maybe the scenes with the news reporter are the least fleshed out, but that's a fairly minor complaint for a movie that is very involving and entertaining and thought-provoking. Woody Harrelson and Charlize Theron are very good, as usual, and Michelle Rodriguez is perfectly cast. One of the big surprises here is Andre Benjamin, from Outkast fame, who delivers a fine supporting performance; he's irreverent but very smart. Ray Liotta is very effective as the mayor, and the film does a great job of seeing the complexities in elected officials as he struggles to please all sides; he is looking for the protesters to behave while also wanting the WTO to address important issues.
The audience I saw this with at the Toronto Festival gave it an ovation that lasted all through the credits. In terms of pure audience satisfaction, this movie was up there with "Juno" and "Body of War" and "Eastern Promises" as the fan favorites.
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