You may not have heard about the upcoming film Battle in Seattle, but odds are you will. An ensemble cast movie directed by first timer Stuart Townsend (who you know best as ACTOR Stuart Townsend), this is a retelling of the events in Seattle during the 1999 WTO protest/riots. The best way to describe this is to call it the CRASH of protest movies. Its aim is to show how things got out of control from all sides and it does so very effectively. I saw this back at South By Soutwest earlier this year and dug the $#*% out of it - and I'll post my thoughts closer to the release in two months. But I will say this: it is an elegantly told tale that will get you all fired up and teach you a bit about the WTO, but is, when all is said and done, a bit slanted. But still really good. Put this one on your radar. Here's the brand spanking new poster.
And here's the new trailer:
In 1999, five days rocked the world as tens of thousands of demonstrators took to the streets of Seattle in protest of the World Trade Organization (WTO). Environmentalists, consumer advocates, labor unions, students, anarchists and pacifists all converged, bringing attention to how the WTO’s laws were affecting democracy around the world.
Among them are Django (Andre Benjamin), Sam (Jennifer Carpenter), Lou (Michelle Rodriguez) and Jay (Martin Henderson). United in their desire to be heard and to make a difference, for these protesters, this is very personal and the stakes are higher than mere politics. A peaceful demonstration to stop the WTO talks quickly escalates into a full-scale riot and an eventual State of Emergency results. The streets are mayhem, the WTO is paralyzed. Caught in the crossfire are Seattle residents, including its beleaguered mayor (Ray Liotta), a riot cop on the streets (Woody Harrelson) and his pregnant wife (Charlize Theron). The choices they make will change their lives forever and prove, ultimately, that ordinary people can change the world.
With his ensemble cast writer/director Stuart Townsend intertwines different points of view from a cross section of society – from protestors and police to delegates and doctors – who intentionally or accidentally find themselves on the streets of Seattle in those last days of the millennium. Townsend merges footage of the real event with his fictional narrative and, ultimately, Battle in Seattle illustrates that, even against incredible odds, ordinary people can change the world.