Executive Producer Sean Penn presents "Witch Hunt," a gripping indictment of the American justice system told through the lens of one small town. Voters in Bakersfield, California elected a tough on crime district attorney into office for more than 25 years. During his tenure he convicted dozens of innocent working class moms and dads. They went to prison, some for decades, before being exonerated. He remains in office today. This story on a micro level mirrors what the US has experienced over the last eight years. When power is allowed to exist without oversight civil rights are in jeopardy. Written by
There are more than 2 million people in American prisons today. This film is dedicated to the thousands of them who are actually innocent.
The images of your life, picture them, on your refrigerator, in albums, frames. They capture every stage, change, celebration. Without them, how much do you remember? How much do you rely on these photos to remind you of the journey you've taken in life. Now imagine them gone. This is the first photo John Stoll has of is life. The ...
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This film chronicles the events which transpired in Kern County (Bakersfield) California, and the dozens of people who were falsely charged with child sexual abuse as part of massive "sex rings". Specifically, the film tells the story of John Stoll, Scott and Brenda Kniffen, Alvin and Debbie McCuan, Jeff Modahl, Jack and Jackie Cummings, Rick and Marcella Pitts.
This film is filled with heroes.
The film makers themselves: for tackling such a difficult, and generally unpopular subject matter, and for their fortitude to stick with the project over more than four years determined to see these stories of injustice told.
Those who were falsely imprisoned, bared down, stood strong, and fought the good fight, no matter how long it took, to see the truth about their innocence told.
Those who were involved as with the police, social services, and the District Attorney's office as children, who now as young adults have been brave enough to come forward with the truth about how those in authority were acting in true "criminal" behavior, and not those accused of sexual abuse.
However, hearing these particular young adults speak of their pain, guilt, trauma, confusion, and remorse over allowing social service workers to convince them to lie when they were children was the most powerful aspect of this film for me.
I have heard many, many stories of false arrest. There is no doubt that the stories of struggle and survival from those falsely accused are moving beyond words. However, hearing the pain and perspective from the different side of those wronged by the justice system; hearing how much these false arrests harmed the children involved, is the most powerful aspect of this new film.
A must see!
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