Depending which nationality you are and where you lived in 1993, you may or may not have heard about the 'Waco Siege', a now infamous human tragedy drama that unfolded in Waco, Texas U.S.A. during the 90s. The story was covered by many news outlets, as it unfolded over a 2 months period, before it came to an abrupt and horrendous ending. To this day not all the facts are known and important information is being kept secret and is deemed classified.
It began on February 28, 1993 when the United States Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF) attempted to execute a search warrant at a ranch at Mount Carmel, a property located outside of Waco, Texas. An exchange of gunfire resulted in the deaths of four ATF agents and six followers of the Branch Davidian religious-leader Vernon Wayne Howell, better known as David Koresh. A subsequent 51-day siege by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) ended on April 19 when a mysterious fire destroyed the compound, that killed 76 men, women and children.
WACO: Rules of Engagement, is the first full-length documentary film that presents the complete picture of the series of events outside Waco, Texas during 1993, a highly detailed examination of the interaction between David Koresh, his members, and Federal Law Enforcement. It shows how the FBI, to this day, has intentionally misled the public and political leaders and suggests that the ATF provoked unnecessary confrontation in order to focus with overwhelming force on a group, who was rumored to have manufactured illegal weapons and whose diversity of race, national origin, and apocalyptic religious beliefs made its members easy targets, for lethal abuse of civil and human rights. The findings raise doubts about the FBI's version of the story and their larger role in similar instances of law enforcement.
To this day only released & available in North America, this gripping and deeply thought provoking film provides us with something we need - an opportunity to review the historical record of what really happened in Waco.
The film was nominated for a 'Best Documentary Feature' at the 1997 Academy Awards and was winner of an Emmy Award (Best Investigative Journalism Program), the IDA Feature Award, Best Documentary Feature (Vancouver Intl. Film Festival) and Most Popular Documentary (Melbourne Intl. Film Festival).
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