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FRIDAY

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You heard all about Waco from the ranting right-wing loony who cornered you at a party to detail his latest conspiracy theory—then you headed for the hors d’oeuvres and the door. However, it turns out you don’t have to be on the paranoid fringe to be troubled by the use of force in Texas in the spring of ’93. By all accounts, the Oscar-nominated documentary Waco: The Rules of Engagement paints an unsettling picture of the 1993 siege of the Branch Davidian compound. It offers a mountain of evidence, pervasive testimony, and original and archival footage (including infrared videos) to challenge the government’s official version. The film suggests that the apocalyptic sect wasn’t as belligerent as portrayed and that the ATF conceived the raid as a publicity stunt, before it fouled up and left 80 people dead. We may never know much more than what’s here because key evidence was destroyed in the FBI’s razing of the remains of the compound. At 7:30 p.m. at the Renaissance Washington, D.C., Hotel’s Renaissance Ballroom, 999 9th St. NW. $5. (202) 833-8000. (John Dugan)