Siege mentality

Last night I watched a 1996 television movie called The Siege at Ruby Ridge about Randy Weaver and his family. Randy is played by Randy Quaid. Randy Weaver's wife, Vicki, is played with really spooky intensity by Laura Dern. Vicki's mother is played by Laura Dern's real mother, Diane Ladd. Vicki's father is played by that great character actor G. W. Bailey. Sara Weaver, Randy's daughter, is played brilliantly by 14-year-old Kirsten Dunst. It's basically a three-hour movie, assembled from a TV miniseries called Ruby Ridge: An American Tragedy. There are some inaccuracies, of course. The "Comments" sections of the IMDb and Amazon.com are filled with shrill remarks from both sides. If you Google the phrase "ruby ridge," you'll find mounds of indignant and frankly strange results. True Believer FBI Special Agents vs True Believer skinheads. And True Believer white separatists vs True Believer ATF bureaucrats. Gerry Spence, Weaver's attorney, reportedly told him: "I'm the lawyer you've been told about. Before we begin to talk I want you to understand that I do not share any of your political or religious beliefs. Many of my dearest friends are Jews. My daughter is married to a Jew. My sister is married to a black man. She has adopted a black child. I deplore what the Nazis stand for. If I defend you I will not defend your political beliefs or your religious beliefs, but your right as an American citizen to a fair trial."

The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.

- William Butler Yeats

In any case, Kirsten Dunst was a fine little actress (and probably still is, although I haven't seen many of her films). And let's not get our political and religious pants all in a bunch with the Comments here.

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