Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Waco 2018

Those of my age and older, even those who live outside America, can probably recall the happenings  in Waco, Texas in 1993 being discussed on the TV (that's where we used to get our info on what's going on in the world before the internet).

I can dimly remember my parents watching the evening news and Branch Davidians being mentioned, though at that age I was much more interested in other things so it all hardly registered in my brain. In the past several months, some of the twitter accounts I read kept mentioning it and when I learned that there is a miniseries about Waco siege, I was naturally thrilled to watch it.

As far as I could understand, the series is based on two books, one written by a survivor, the other by an FBI agent. It starts with showing the events at Ruby Ridge, which happened 9 months before. The tempo is quite slow in the beginning, as we make acquaintance with some of the Davidians, with most of the focus on their leader David Koresh and his right hand Steve Schneider, and, of course,  David's wives and children.

As the story progresses, there is more tension built and after the first shots are fired in Part 3 you realise that you can't take your eyes away from the screen (we actually watched all of it in only 2 days). The fact that you know beforehand just exactly HOW it will all end, makes it even more dramatic. The final episode is like witnessing the last hours of a person sentenced to death (and the most horrific death at that). In fact, I have watched many gruesome movies, but Waco is just about the most horrible thing I've ever seen.

The acting is superb, and in general, the series produces a powerful emotional impact. Despite all the weirdness of the main character, it's difficult not to sympathise with him. There is a scene in the movie, when he makes a recording for the FBI saying: "This is my family, may be it's not like your family. But you can't point guns in the direction of my wives and my kids. I will meet you at the door any time." While Koresh is shown as an egoist and, to some degree, a megalomaniac, the other side is depicted as positively evil (with some exceptions).

It made me understand why so many Americans distrust the federal government. After watching the series, you'll be left with basically one question: what exactly have these people done to deserve to be treated in that manner.

Don't watch it if you have weak nerves.

Here is the official trailer.

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