A “docu-drama” of the 1999 WTO protest, so Americanly named the Battle In Seattle, seems a bit appropriate as the current economic melt down ripples through everyone’s savings right now.
Go back with me to November 1999. Everyone is already crazy with Y2K, so when greedy capitalists decide to meet at a highly concentrated liberal city on the west coast, VW vans are fired up and everyone who has an opinion about poverty and money converged on Seattle. Social consciousness groups came together in a peaceful attempt to “stop” the convention which turned into one of the largest riots the US as seen since the 60s. Somewhere, someone got pissed off and the riot ignited like a Spike Lee movie ending. You might remember video of riot police casually coating a passive, sitting crowd of protesters with a fire extinguisher sized can of mace. Or countless images of rugby scrums with black armored cops hunched over cotton/hemp wearing youths. Whoever you side with, it was a violent few days.
What makes me curious about this movie is that it seems to be “Crash”-like in its structure: multiple viewpoints, perspectives and storylines converging to one point: downtown Seattle, just in front of the riot police. But in reading reviews from it’s TIFF showing, the movie hammers home it’s hatred for the WTO within the opening sequences, so it seems biased more towards the protesters. Another clue is that Woody Harrelson plays a cop. I think his acting default is set to “Villain” lately so he may be swinging a truncheon with abandon.
I’m also curious about the Massive Attack soundtrack. But that’s probably another blog post. Battle will be playing in limited release in Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver October 17th.