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Bob Bryant, F.B.I. agent in charge of an operation to arrest Adam Swapp and his brother Jonathan are suspects in the bombing of Mormon Center in Utah. The brothers and their families hold-up on their farm with provisions and enough ammunition to withstand the governments siege. They are devout in their beliefs and purposes and are determined to stand up for their rights.Written by
Richard Jones <email@example.com>
I haven't seen this movie since it was first shown on television, thus my memory is hazy. It concerns a small group of Mormon fundamentalists who run afoul of both their less extremist Mormon neighbors and the local sheriff. Disputing issues like polygamous marriage, home schooling and water rights, the situation escalates over a period of time into open warfare, with the catalyst for the final confrontation being the bombing of the local Mormon Stake Center (i.e. church) by the fundamentalists, who hole up at their family farm.
The F.B.I., led by Dennis Franz, is called in as this is now beyond the control of the local authorities and a Waco-like siege ensues. Frustrated, and unable to make any headway in negotiations, an assault is finally ordered, resulting in the capture of the renegade group but also in the death of a police officer.
This was not a particularly good movie as the buildup to the final confrontation lacked a sense of drama or inevitability. We feel no empathy for any of the characters except for the policeman who is killed, as he gave his life over what should have been a minor affair that spun out of control because of stupidity masquerading as religious debate. The fundamentalist group takes most of the blame here.
Dennis Franz's character tries to be sympathetic, but not being a Mormon, or even particularly religious, he clearly fails to understand what this is all about. Having written this, I am surprised at the parallels between this incident and the later standoff at Waco, Texas.
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