Battle in Seattle

This drama showed the protests that surrounded and shut down the World Trade Organization (WTO) summit in Seattle in 1999. From what I know about what really happened, the overall events are fairly accurate. The individuals and their specific situations are made up.

I was surprised at how much I liked this one. I expected the film to show the protests as maybe unnecessary, or irrational, or counterproductive, or that the WTO is problematic but also does some positive things. Instead, the film is very critical of the WTO from start to finish and portrayed the protestors (in general) as doing the right thing for the right reasons. It does a great job showing effective civil disobedience street tactics and makes good points about police being the arms of an unjust system.

The main thing I didn’t like was the one dimensional characterization of Anarchists as only interested in breaking windows and taking all the media attention away from the “legitimate” “nonviolent” protests. (Though the interaction between the Anarchist breaking windows and the protagonists trying to stop him is very authentic.)

Also, the attempted character development and minor romance felt pretty forced. But it is pretty brief.

4 stars!