Outside the Wire is based on real events in the Middle East and Africa, but it's set in a future where violence is not the norm. In other words, it's a future that seems possible today because of how things are now, but because of how they might be tomorrow. The movie begins in 2036, right after World War II, when peace seems to have broken out and violence is on the decline. Two decades later, however, conflicts erupt all over the Middle East and Africa, between terrorist groups and countries that wish to gain control. In Outside the Wire, the viewer is introduced to an organization called Othello, which operates a network of surveillance cameras that are hidden around the city. With the help of a few friends (including a Chinese girl whom he barely knows), Othello tries to keep everyone safe, and he does.
However, his methods go too far, because one of the terrorists he's hired turns out to be an agent provocateur. He kidnaps the Chinese reporter working for him, tortures him, then sells the information he knows to the highest bidder. In the meantime, Othello realizes that he's been setting up his operation for too long, that there are weaknesses in his plan, that the people running the surveillance won't be as cooperative as he'd hoped. His friend, played by Ki Hong Lee, makes an appearance and the two men must work together to stop the threat.
While the movie takes place entirely in the present, that isn't necessarily the point. Rather, the point is that this future is not possible today because it would change so much of what we do. What kind of a society would this be if everyone knew about everything? For instance, if every Tom, Dick and Harry knew the details of every day events in every country on the globe, there would be very few news stories that got any traction. So that's why we have Internet sources for things like the inside story on the New York Times, CNN, Fox News, and even the BBC.
Othello is a character with significant flaws. He's corrupt, selfish, manipulative, egotistical, and so on. But he also loves a woman who he barely meets (and who may not actually be his wife). He also deeply admires the freedom and liberty that America offers. The end of the play shows us what happens when he loses those freedoms.
The play opens with the narration of a man reading from an article in a newspaper while driving down a country road. He describes the things he sees as he drives along, but he doesn't seem to be remembering much as he talks. As he talks, snippets of the newspaper article start to come into his mind, and when he stands up and looks at the passing scenery, he finds himself saying these lines.
This play has a message for current political and social leaders, as well as the average person going on the Internet and looking for current news. Is there really any way for the average citizen to get their news any other way? Will we ever have to rely on TV, radio, newspapers, or news channels that are actually controlled by some sort of corporate interests? Out of The New York Times, Out of the Country, Out of Mind, is a very entertaining play that makes you think.