IMDb > Waco: The Rules of Engagement (1997)

Waco: The Rules of Engagement (1997) More at IMDbPro »

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Waco: The Rules of Engagement -- Using interviews, news footage, testimony before Congress, and infrared photographic analysis, ‘Waco: The Rules of Engagement’ chips away at the government's story that David Koresh and his followers were a dangerous cult involved in strange sex and drug practices who were preparing to slaughter their neighbors and that they immolated themselves a la Jonestown, rather than give themselves up peacefully. Nearly every element of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms' and the FBI's cover-up is exposed as fraudulent and the viewer is left wondering when, if ever, justice will finally be served.
Waco: The Rules of Engagement -- This video is a commentary by the director of Waco: The Rules of Engagement, William Gazecki, talking on the making of the movie. WACO was theatrically released in 1997 and has aired on television. It is also available on DVD.


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Release Date:
19 September 1997 (USA) See more »
This controversial documentary about the stand-off between an unorthodox Christian group - the Branch Davidians... See more » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Nominated for Oscar. Another 6 wins & 1 nomination See more »
User Reviews:
Finding out the truth about Waco is quite grey. See more (31 total) »


  (in credits order)

Dan Gifford ... Narrator (voice)
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Clive Doyle ... Himself - Branch Davidian (also archive footage)
Jack Harwell ... Himself - Sheriff
Dick J. Reavis ... Himself - Author (also archive footage)
James D. Tabor ... Himself - Biblical Scholar
David Thibodeau ... Himself - Branch Davidian

Joe Biden ... Himself - U.S. Senate (archive footage) (uncredited)

Sonny Bono ... Himself (archive footage) (uncredited)
Howard Coble ... Himself - U.S. Congress (archive footage) (uncredited)
John Conyers ... Himself - U.S. Congress (archive footage) (uncredited)
Orrin G. Hatch ... Himself - U.S. Senate (archive footage) (uncredited)
Jim Jones ... Himself - in Jonestown (archive footage) (uncredited)
David Koresh ... Himself - Branch Davidian Leader (archive footage) (uncredited)
Tom Lantos ... Himself - U.S. Congress (archive footage) (uncredited)
Janet Reno ... Herself - U.S. Attorney General (archive footage) (uncredited)
Bob Ricks ... Himself (FBI spokesman) (archive footage) (uncredited)
Steven Schiff ... Himself - U.S. Congress (archive footage) (uncredited)
David Somerville ... Himself (ATF) (archive footage) (uncredited)

Directed by
William Gazecki 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
William Gazecki 
Dan Gifford 
Michael McNulty 

Produced by
William Gazecki .... producer
Dan Gifford .... executive producer
Dan Gifford .... producer
Michael McNulty .... producer
Amy Sommer .... co-executive producer (as Amy Sommer Gifford)
Original Music by
David Hamilton 
Cinematography by
William Gazecki 
Rick Nyburg 
Film Editing by
William Gazecki 
Richard LaBrie 
Rick Nyburg 
Sound Department
William Gazecki .... sound editor
J. Neil Schulman .... special thanks

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

136 min | USA:165 min
Filming Locations:

Did You Know?

Movie Connections:
Referenced in Men in Black II (2002)See more »


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15 out of 18 people found the following review useful.
Finding out the truth about Waco is quite grey., 1 February 2005

After watching "Waco: The Rules of Engagement" I was just sitting in disbelief of what I was witness to. A big cover up by the FBI, a massacre by gung-ho/trigger happy government agents? I clearly remember the Waco standoff, I was 17 years old at the time and watched it all on CNN. I remembered reflecting about all the children as I watched the Mount Camel compound burn in April 1993. I remember feeling sorry for the children, but clearly felt that it was the fault of their evil leader David Koresh and the other Davidians. Gazecki's film shows clearly and beyond doubt, even though it is biased, that the FBI lied over and over again. I think that this film was a big contributor to the reopening of a new investigation of the incident in 1999. The outcome of this new investigation was in some sense predictable, the judgement relied on fact that was just as grey as the facts that the Davidians presented. I was very disappointed about the verdict, because as far as I know it didn't take into account all the lying, misinformation and evidence cover-up by the FBI and other officials. Why have no one be prosecuted for hampering the work of the Texas Rangers investigators? Why were they allowed to contaminate the crime scene and bulldoze the compound shortly after the incident? These are questions that I haven't been given answers to by the government. Most importantly, what about the children? In this new investigation I haven't been informed about who was responsible for spraying the CS flammable tear-gas into a compound with many hazards for igniting this gas and I haven't found any answer to whether the children's muscles contracted due to the effects of the gas, while they were alive. If they did, I would surely think that the Janet Reno or who ever was in charge of the raid should be indicted for mass-homicide or manslaughter. The question that was raised by Gazecki, but not mentioned is; Was is a direct plan for the people in charge and their tanks to cut holes and burn the building down with intent? (a plan that would have been accomplished with 112% efficacy) or were the officials in charge so incompetent, that their were unaware of the consequence of their actions? Both are equally frightening. Even if the Davidians set fire to the compound, the officials in charge surely provided them with the opportunity to do the job. If the officials in charge knew, as they claimed, that the Davidians would set fire to the compound, why the f… did the tanks cut all the holes in the building making it into a furnace and why didn't they have plans to deal with the fire that they knew would occur? Dark questions that still won't go away The final and most relevant issue of this film, is the way that the Davidians are demonized by the government through the media, who just feeds it in to the public. I clearly remember the resentment I felt for the evil Davidians that I saw on CNN in 1993. Now that I'm older I can see a clear line of communication coming out of the government every time they are gearing up for a massacre of civilians along with the intended targets. Demonizing people with words like; "they have different unlawful values then us" "they don't enjoy freedom" and "they are a threat to our freedoms and way of life" makes them so much easier to kill……

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