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Thursday, February 5, 2009

The Siege at Ruby Ridge (1996) (TV)



A frightening wake-up call

On August 22, 1992, 400 Federal agents armed with rifles, choppers and tanks, surrounded the Ruby Ridge, Idaho, cabin of White Supremacist Randy Weaver (Randy Quaid, Independence Day). When Weaver resists a Federal arrest warrant, the U.S. Government declared war on the separatist and his family. Following an 11-day standoff that left his wife (Laura Dern, Wild at Heart) and son (Bradley Pierce, Jumanji) dead, Weaver surrendered and inexplicably was brought to trial on trumped-up murder and conspiracy charges, in this Emmy© nominated docudrama based on the real-life events that shocked a nation. Co-starring Kirsten Dunst (Spider-Man) and Diane Ladd (TV's Stephen King's Kingdom Hospital).

I don't normally express my views or opinions about fact based movies, but the subject matter of this particular film "The Siege at Ruby Ridge" moved me. Having not paid attention to the events of Ruby Ridge at the time, to my shame, I was curious enough on a Sunday afternoon to watch the movie. At the end of the film I was convinced that either the writers and producers were overly biased towards the Weaver family and were attempting to stir up the general population with their interpretation of the siege, or, and more disturbing, the movie was a true representation. After a few hours of research I was able to conclude that the scenes accurately portrayed events with a minimal amount of poetic license. The actors were emotional and convincing and I grieved with them.

I count myself as among the conservative, (mostly) sheltered, white collar Americans, comfortable in the daily concept of living in a free democracy, protected by our constitution, and generally content with life. A highly emotional, fact based movie like this is powerful enough in it's content to shatter that illusion. And while I choose to believe that the events outlined in the movie were the sad tragic results of a huge (but hopefully unintentional) error in judgment by an imperfect government, the concern that it might not have been...lingers.....
~ By kspry from New York



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