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The D.C. Sniper's Wife: A Barbara Kopple Film (2008)

The life of John Allen Muhammad. The D.C. Sniper, as told by his ex-wife Mildred.

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The life of John Allen Muhammad. The D.C. Sniper, as told by his ex-wife Mildred.

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June 2008 (USA)  »

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Passing the buck
6 October 2015 | by (Yurp) – See all my reviews

This documentary recounts the story of the Beltway Sniper or DC Sniper, John Muhammad, primarily through the memories of his estranged wife Mildred Muhammad. Muhammad killed no less than 17 people with his accomplice in 2002. It was new to me that John Muhammad was engaged in a long-standing fight with his wife Mildred to gain control over their three children, and this conflict might have pushed him to go on his killing spree. Mildred maintains that her husband was initially a normal, caring husband who somehow changed when he was a demolition expert with the US military in the first Gulf War, and that he somehow came back from Saudi-Arabia (or Saudia, as Mildred calls it) as another man from the one she'd married: "The man that I married is in Saudi-Arabia. Because the man that came back is not John". It's fascinating to learn that she suffered heavily from John Muhammad, but at the same time she places the blame exclusively on the higher powers. Apparently there was an incident with a smoke grenade during his tour of duty, which the military interpreted as a suicide attempt which endangered his comrades. Mildred is still convinced that her husband was innocent.

It's bizarre to watch how Mildred styles herself as a victim of external circumstances, and how this documentary panders to her.


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