30 Frames a Second: The WTO in Seattle

30 Frames a Second: The W

30 Frames a Second: The WTO in Seattle

Running Time: N/A

Far more than any news magazine show could, Emmy-winning director Rustin Thompson observes the 1999 World Trade Organization protests in Seattle with an amazing dedication to human drama as well as objective detail. Although most news shows pigeonholed the protests as one side against another--dreadlocked protestors against riot police--30 Frames a Second goes much deeper. The protestors come from all walks of life and have a range of individual concerns; e.g., environmentalists are opposed to the rapid, worldwide relaxation of environmental laws; and hard-hat-wearing steelworkers are opposed to the foreign steel dumping that is hurting American steel interests. The police in Thompson's lens are truly a jackbooted, frightening force; the violence they unleash on unarmed people results in part from the mob's decision first to block all WTO delegates from the conference, then to run riot. Thompson treats the delegates with curiosity: most of them are from developing countries that need this conference as a way to solve trade and monetary crises of their own - while the protestors outside are trying to shut the conference down. Although Thompson sympathizes with the protestors' causes, his narration and camera work dispassionately capture the destruction visited on Seattle. Throughout, however, Thompson provides a brilliant recording and interpretation of events; hopefully, he also provides instruction on how to avoid events like this in the future. Above all, 30 Frames a Second is about the loss of control. It is about what happens when police become thugs; it's about when peaceful protest becomes mob violence.

Far more than any news magazine show could, Emmy-winning director Rustin Thompson observes the 1999 World Trade Organization protests in Seattle with an amazing dedication to human drama as well as
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