Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Witch Hunt (2008)

This is an important, moving and maddening documentary. It shows what can go wrong in a legal system that chooses to ignore the truth and seeks only convictions. Sadly, this happens all across America and the rest of the world. Nachman and Hardy have done a masterful job. While parts are hard to watch since the miscarriage of justice was so egregious, we all need to view Witch Hunt.

From Web Site: Executive Producer Sean Penn proudly narrates the gripping indictment of the United States justice system told through the lens of one small town. It's John Stoll's story, but it's also the story of dozens of other men and women who found themselves ensnared in a spiral of fear, ignorance and hysteria. These people are Americans, working class moms and dads, who were rounded up with little or no evidence, charged and convicted of almost unimaginable crimes. All sexual. All crimes against children. Years, sometimes decades later, they would find freedom again, but their lives and the lives of their children would be changed forever. This film shows viewers what the real crime in this case is, not molestation, but the crime of coercion. Viewers hear from the child witnesses who were forced to lie on the witness stand as they describe scary sessions with sheriff's deputies in which they were told -- not asked -- about sexual experiences that happened to them. Their coerced testimony led to dozens of convictions. Many times their own parents were the ones they put behind bars. 2008 91 minutes

Producers and Protagonist
Dana Nachman -- John Stoll --Don Hardy

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