Battle in Seattle

Battle in Seattle

Infobox Film
name = Battle in Seattle

caption = Theatrical poster
director = Stuart Townsend
producer = Mary Aloe
cinematography = Barry Ackroyd
starring = Martin Henderson
Michelle Rodriguez
Charlize Theron
Woody Harrelson
André Benjamin
Connie Nielsen
Ray Liotta
Channing Tatum
music = Massive Attack
distributor = Redwood Palms Pictures
released = September 19 2008 (US)
runtime = 100 minutes
budget = $8,000,000 (estimated)
country = United States
language = English
website =
amg_id = 1:377586
imdb_id = 0850253

"Battle in Seattle" is a 2008 film and the directorial debut of actor Stuart Townsend. It is based on the WTO Ministerial Conference of 1999 protest activity.

Plot summary

Thousands of activists arrive in Seattle, Washington in masses to protest the WTO Ministerial Conference of 1999 (World Trade Organization). The movie takes an in-depth look at characters during those five days in 1999 as demonstrators protested the meeting of the WTO in Seattle's streets. Although it began as a peaceful protest with a goal of stopping the WTO talks, it escalated into a full-scale riot and eventually, a State of Emergency that pitted protesters against the Seattle Police Department and the National Guard.


*Martin Henderson as Jay
*Michelle Rodriguez as Lou
*Charlize Theron as Ella
*Woody Harrelson as Dale
*André Benjamin as Django
*Connie Nielsen as Jean
*Ray Liotta as Mayor Jim Tobin
*Channing Tatum as Johnson
*Jennifer Carpenter as Sam
*Ivana Milicevic as Carla
*Joshua Jackson as Randall

Filming locations

*Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
**University of British Columbia, Point Grey Campus
**Granville Square
**Corner of Hastings and Hornby
**Foot of Vancouver Public Library
**Fraser Street, between 41st and 49th Avenues
*Seattle, Washington


The film received mixed reviews from critics, earning a 55% positive rating from numerous reviews on review aggregator site Rotten Tomatoes asof|2008|October. The critical consensus was that the film, though "well-intentioned and passionate", had stronger political content than characters.] "New York Magazine" called the film "a triumph", [cite web|title=Battle in Seattle Review by NYMag|url=|accessdate=2008-08-27] while "Chicago Sun-Times" film critic Roger Ebert gave the film 3 out of 4 stars and described it as "not quite a documentary and not quite a drama, but interesting all the same" and compared it to past political films like "Medium Cool". [cite web|title=Battle in Seattle Review by Roger Ebert|url=|accessdate=2008-08-27] "Entertainment Weekly" also praised the film, citing its multi-faceted portrayals in which the director "captures the idealism of the anti-WTO agitators, the anxiety of the cops, and the smugness of the anarchists who made the protest violent".The film also received positive reviews from "The Hollywood Reporter" and "Variety". [cite web|title=Battle in Seattle Review by THR|url=|accessdate=2008-08-27] [cite web|title=Battle in Seattle Review by Variety|url=|accessdate=2008-08-27] quote box
quote=The diversity of thought and strategy within anarchism is ignored, and in its place is a one-dimensional, sensational caricature of anarchist politics, despite being slightly more educated then the usual media portrayal.
source=Review on
Despite director Stuart Townsend's stated intention of portraying the events of protest accurately, the film was criticized by anarchist collective CrimethInc. for what they saw as its sensationalistic portrayal of events.cite web| url= |title="And What About Tomorrow?" |author=CrimethInc. Screenwreckers Guild |format=.pdf] In a pamphlet titled "And What About Tomorrow?", the collective allege that the protests were characterized in the film as an isolated spontaneous uprising in which a "small fringe group" of black bloc anarchists "stole the show", whereas CrimethInc. contend that "anarchists were involved in all different aspects of the protests" including nonviolent organization and Food Not Bombs, and credit the adoption of anarchist direct action tactics with the success of the uprising. A review published by Anarkismo praised the film as "clearly well-researched", citing the pacing and general narrative as quite accurate, but criticized the presentation of anarchist politics as one-dimensional and a caricature.cite web| url= |last=Rogue |first=Jen |coauthors=Hedden, Andrew |title=Lights! Cameras! Direct Action! |work=Anarkismo]

Related articles

*"", a photojournalist's first person documentary film shot during the protests and released in 2000
*"Breaking the Spell (film)", an anarchist documentary account of the protests released by CrimethInc.


External links

Official websites
* [ "Battle in Seattle" Official Site]
* [ "Battle in Seattle" Release Dates]
*myspace|battleinseattlemovie|"Battle in Seattle"
* [ Who Controls the World?]
* [ Official Canadian Release Site]

*imdb title|id=0850253|title=Battle in Seattle
* [ "Battle in Seattle"] 's rating on RottenTomatoes
* [ "The Battle of the Story of the 'Battle of Seattle'"]
* [|"Interview with Director of film and key organizer of WTO protest"]
* [|"WTO protest participants respond to film"]
* [ "This is What Democracy Looks Like"] - Documentary released in 2000 cut from the footage of over 100 media activists
* [ Boston Herald] 'Seattle' charges into gripping street battle - review by Stephen Schaefer.

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