Erin Richter
July 16, 1999 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Waco: The Rules of Engagement

type
Movie
Current Status
In Season
mpaa
Unrated
genre
Documentary

We gave it a B+

After hours of pumping tear gas into a building it helped turn into a tinderbox, did the FBI use gunfire to pin Branch Davidians in the Mount Carmel inferno on April 19, 1993? The feds vehemently say no, but the infrared evidence analyzed in this Oscar-nominated 1997 doc (which had limited theatrical exposure) makes a strong argument to the contrary. And that’s not the only troubling question raised in Waco: The rules of Engagement, a compelling, though sometimes over-manipulated, chronicle. Through news footage, congressional hearings, and interviews with witnesses and authorities, it makes obvious the government’s deadly 51-day standoff with the Davidians was, at the very least, a tragedy of errors. B+

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