(ca) wrote: A well made but heavily biased documentary about the Waco incident that essentially blames the government for the terrible tragedy, and man was it terrible. Had no idea. Unfortunately, the film's bias is slanted to the point of conspiracy, one which, when examined closely, doesn't hold very much water. It does ask a lot of interesting questions, though, ones which I doubt will ever be completely answered. It's also very slow to start, not really getting to the interesting "meat" of the matter until a good 45 minutes in. I almost tuned out because of this, actually. But your patience is rewarded, and once it does finally get into the incident, it's fascinating. I knew nothing about the incident going in other than it involved a cult of some kind and ended in a big fire that killed a lot of people. This movie helps explain who these people were to some extent and what events led up to said fire, though with a very slanted pro-cult, anti-government bias that is somewhat unappealing. Putting aside the legality of the government's actions for a moment, the Davidians were clearly not the benevolent cult they're portrayed as being in this film. Not only was their leader a delusional self proclaimed messiah who impregnated young girls "in the name of God," he also encouraged his followers to harvest a rather sizable stock of weapons and ammunition and keep it stored in his compound for reasons never really made clear. The conversations alone David Koresh, the cult leader, has with the Waco negotiator are evidence enough of his warped sense of reality at the time. Scary stuff. What really annoyed me was how the film tries to dismiss the child rape allegations as being merely hearsay, and the storing of weapons as their exercising Constitutional rights, but come on. Whether or not girls have been raped isn't something that should be dismissed with a mere wave of the hand, or, in this case, an audio fade out. And what possible reason could a questionable, physically isolated religious organization have to collect such a large quantity of weapons if not for violent purposes, or the possibility of future violence? Clearly something suspicious was going on at Waco, and the government was right in needing to investigate the matter. How they went about it, though, and what it eventually led to, are entirely different matters. So many mistakes were made. Attacking the compound the way they did, treating the people inside as terrorists, using torture tactics to "break" them, publicly arresting anyone who surrendered, and, ultimately, using tanks to rip off pieces of the building and filling the area with tear gas in places where they knew children were present, were just terrible decisions. The images at the end of twisted, burnt bodies of children are horrific. And the scene of the tank rolling over a wall of the building as the people inside screamed that there were too many of them to move was just terrible. Terrible. It made me really angry, at the government for its poor handling of the situation, and at the idiots who followed Koresh in the first place and ultimately dragged their children into the flames with them as the building burned. What horrible deaths. The documentary tries to make a case that the government started the fire on purpose to "get back" at the group for having killed some of its agents in the initial raid. I don't believe this. Mistakes were made, yes, but let's not get crazy here. It's likely that the fire was started by the cult members themselves, but for what purpose? Was it a last ditch effort to keep government agents from taking over the compound? Or was it a successful attempt at mass suicide, as many have come to believe? I don't think we'll ever know for sure. I'd like to believe the former: that the Davidians were simply attempting to protect themselves from incoming agents but underestimated the spread of the fire, made worse, or so the documentary claims, by the inclusion of the highly flammable compounds of the tear gas spread all over the building, among other things. But, who knows? It's a sick, crazy world we live in. Overall, man. This is a tough documentary. Really interesting, especially if you're not familiar with the events surrounding Waco. But, again, everything you see should be taken with a grain of salt. It's a sad, disturbing, emotional documentary that will leave you angry and shaking, and, most importantly, wanting to learn more about the subject. Strongly recommended.