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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
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 lame film sets a terribly-written fictional narrative against the backdrop of the 1999 riots in Seattle that occurred during the meeting of the World Trade Organization. Director Stuart Townsend, who is also responsible for the juvenile screenplay, concocts ridiculous and melodramatic situations out of a scenario that already had enough dramatic heft of its own without embellishment.
Townsend creates a group of stock characters that includes the beleaguered Seattle mayor (Ray Liotta); a couple of protesters (Martin Henderson and Michelle Rodriquez) whom the screenplay forces into an awkward and unnecessary romance; a reporter (Connie Nielsen) who actually joins the protesters(!) after she witnesses some police brutality (I'm not making this up); and a police officer (Woody Harrelson) and his pregnant wife (Charlize Theron) whose lives are altered dramatically by the events of those few days. These actors are put into narrative situations that a 16-year-old would come up with if he were asked to jot down a bunch of scenarios that he thought would have a dramatic impact on his audience. Therefore, everything is hokey and maudlin to the extreme. The story line involving Theron, in particular, actually made me angry because of its cheap tactics.
A straight-up documentary about the WTO riots would be far more worth your time than this film. Hell, your time would be better spent watching "Dumb and Dumber."
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