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Battle in Seattle

A docudrama that overcomes it's obvious flaws
By JASON O'BRYAN  |  September 23, 2008
3.0 3.0 Stars

Loosely based on the events surrounding the WTO protests in Seattle in 1999, this docudrama from writer/director Stuart Townsend follows about a dozen characters from all sides of the issue as the mayhem unfolds. Townsend frames his characters as actors embroiled in a larger story that none of them fully understands; they attempt to effect their best intentions while struggling against a system that’s stacked against them. There’s the Activist Leader (Martin Henderson), the Fighter (Michelle Rodriguez), the Besieged Mayor (Ray Liotta), the Cop, the Bigot, the Journalist, the Innocent, and so on. Like Paul Haggis’s Crash, the film mistakes stereotypes for archetypes, staging absurd coincidences with timely epiphanies so everyone can learn a lesson. Also like Crash, Battle in Seattle manages to overcome its obvious flaws; the nerves it does hit can be felt long after the last name has rolled across the screen. 100 minutes | Kendall Square
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