Home TV Shows Reviews ‘Waco: American Apocalypse’ Netflix Series Review - Cult Leader vs the FBI

‘Waco: American Apocalypse’ Netflix Series Review - Cult Leader vs the FBI

This docuseries follows the infamous 51-day standoff between federal agents and a heavily armed cult group in 1993 and includes never-before-seen footage

Aayush Chaurasia - Wed, 22 Mar 2023 17:54:18 +0000 1780 Views
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Waco: American Apocalypse is a limited series streaming on Netflix. It is a true crime documentary series and revolves around the infamous Waco massacre. If you've not heard of this siege, it took place from 28th Feb to 19th April of 1993 and involved a long standoff between the Branch Davidians (A cult) and ATF/FBI forces. The documentary has three episodes and it unravels the incidents that took place over the course of the days. 

I have to say that this is one of the most terrifying documentary series that I have seen. Not in ways that it is just graphic and has imagery that makes you feel uncomfortable, but in terms of how absurd the entire incident was. I had heard of references to Waco, but to watch the members of ATF involved in the siege give their testimonials while simultaneously also getting the perspective of former Branch Davidians who were inside Mount Carmel (The place that was the home-stay of the cult) was a completely different experience.

I'll give some background information so that when you start watching the show you're not dropped off at the deep end like I was. The show doesn't do a great job of giving much history about the Branch Davidians or their leader David Koresh initially, it starts off with the proceedings of the siege instantly. Essentially, there was this small religious cult that went by the name Branch Davidians, during the 1980s and 90s led by a man named David Koresh. 

David believed himself to be the messiah, the second coming of Christ, and believed that there was an upcoming war for which he housed automatic weapons with the help of his followers. When the ATF (Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms, which is a law enforcement agency in America) got a whiff of this they sent their troops for a search warrant. They reached Mount Carmel, a tower with smaller buildings along it surrounded by nothing other than a garage and a distant ranch. When this happened, there was firing from both sides leading to the death of 4 ATF agents.

What unfolded as the world was made aware of this cult leader, David Koresh, and the absurd occurrences at Mount Carmel is what the show really lays emphasis on. With a lot of real footage of the incident from that time as it was a highly documented event. News reports, victims, and videos of ATF soldiers wounded and dying. The series doesn't shy from being absolutely graphic in description, both visual and audio. Listening to the Branch Davidians really gives you an even more detailed understanding of the ongoings at the cult before the incident. The issues and miscommunications between the ATF, FBI, and FBI's Hostage Rescue Team are also major causes of why things ended up being the way they did. I have to say that this is another documentary series that will keep me up at night reading about how one man convinced so many adults into believing in whatever he said.

Something I didn't like about this series is how fast-paced and quick it feels. Despite discussing the major things that happened it always felt a little rushed in execution. I feel if they had gone a little slower and properly deconstructed the man David Koresh was, it would've been even more entertaining.

It is a very tragic part of history as it could've been handled better if the ATF had initially been more verbal in their approach. It reminds us of how sometimes taking action first isn't the best approach. I would recommend this documentary series despite the technical complaints I have about it.

Final Score – [8/10]
Reviewed by - Aayush Chaurasia
Follow @AayushC44 on Twitter
Publisher at Midgard Times



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