This searing indictment of the actions of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) and the FBI against the Branch Davidians at their compound outside Waco, TX, as well as the subsequent congressional hearings, is being released in the timely wake of the Timothy
McVeigh trial. Director William Gazecki's bias is apparent, and the account that emerges from this carefully argued film is one of bungled opportunities to avoid the lethal siege and propaganda-like use of the media to demonize the Branch Davidians and their leader, David Koresh. The filmmakers
sift through a web of alleged lies generated by the ATF and FBI, uncovering contradictions, inconsistencies and obfuscation in their accounts of the bloody assault: Evidence that suggests the initial raid on the Branch Davidian complex was a publicity stunt for the beleaguered ATF is only the
beginning. While other explorations of what went wrong at Waco have featured extensive testimony from law-enforcement officers and Branch Davidian survivors, Gazecki's case against government agents rests on skillful analysis of the existing physical evidence by munitions, chemical and infrared
specialists, buttressed by incriminating testimony from the FBI's own consultants. The film's conclusions are grim and unsettling, never more so than when Gazecki presents compelling evidence that our tax dollars may have been used to gas defenseless old ladies and children, then trap them in a
burning bunker. While no film can definitively answer all the complex questions surrounding this controversial event, Gazecki more than succeeds in showing us the human side of a group of people that the government conveniently allowed to be portrayed as monsters.
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