True Films

Waco: The Rules of Engagement


This documentary has grown on me. At first I thought it a biased view of a minor argument between a rinky-dink kook and an edgy government agency which doesn’t know how to deal with a messiah. The films reconstructs how in 1993 the US government burnt down (accidentally?) a commune of 74 men, women and children after an insane 2-month long siege. All dead were followers of David Koresh, a cultish pastor of a messianic Christianity, who stupidly, recklessly, selfishly (and criminally) put his entire commune in the line of fire and likely death. Yet it is clear that the childish behavior of the US government as it reacted to a bully was far more reckless, stupid and wrong than Koresh’s. Over time this film didn’t fade away as many activist films do. Rather it has only grown in import as the US has begun to deal with extreme religious believers elsewhere. The events of the standoff and incineration at the church in Waco shows that regardless of who is president, there’s no return from hatred once you demonize the antagonist. This film includes revealing home videos made by the believers trapped inside, new aerial film of the crazy bombardment, and first-hand accounts of terrible misunderstandings. If your government hasn’t enraged you in a while, try this film. Works for both lefties and right-wingers!

— KK

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Waco: The Rules of Engagement
Directed by William Gazecki
1997, 136 min.
$20, DVD

Official website

Read more about the film at Wikipedia

Rent from Netflix

Available from Amazon

Posted September 22, 2004 at 2:54 am | comments
| in category Investigative


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