BATTLE IN SEATTLE—-written and directed (quite well) by Stuart Townsend, this 2007 drama-mentary offers a political eye-poke to the nation-destroying corporate swine of the World Trade Organization, by depicting the 1999 protests at the WTO’s Ministerial Conference (polite public pose for a Gangster Gathering), which started peacefully and ended in a riot. Some was sparked by unruly anarchist elements sprinkled among the thousands of demonstrators, some apparently by government provocateurs. Most of the resultant mayhem can be laid on the flailing batons and chemical sprays of the Seattle police, many responding more along the lines of Richard Daley’s 1968 Chicago thugs rather than Pacific Northwest granola munchers.
Fictional characters (based on real people, names changed) are played with vigor and feeling by Charlize Theron, Michelle Rodriguez, Andre Benjamin, Woody Harrelson, Connie Nielsen, Ray Liotta and Channing Tatum.
A fast and nervy 111 minutes, with some shockingly brutal moments in the mix, it cost $8,000,000 to make and the pitiful box office results, despite decent reviews, showed how little too many think about who’s running their planet into the trashheap: it took in a mere $886,000. Locate sand, bury head.