This Is What Democracy Looks Like | Chicago Reader

This Is What Democracy Looks Like

Director-editors Jill Friedberg and Rick Rowley sifted through videos by more than 100 activists to create this 1999 documentary about the Seattle protests against the World Trade Organization. One activist speaks for all in advocating a “universal shared humanity” against the corporations dividing us, but the video devotes less time to the larger world than to confrontations with the police, tarted up by spoken and printed text, repetitive music, and glitzy effects. Back in the 1920s, Soviet documentarian Dziga Vertov tackled similar social problems to produce works that were genuinely analytical and thought provoking; this highly didactic exercise isn't much different from the corporate propaganda it condemns. 70 min.

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