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Witch Hunt (2008)

7.5
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Ratings: 7.5/10 from 605 users  
Reviews: 8 user | 6 critic

The story of several families who have their lives destroyed when their hometown is whipped into a frenzy by allegations of child molestation.

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Edit

Cast

Credited cast:
Jack Cummings ...
Himself - Accused of Child Molestation
Jackie Cummings ...
Herself - Accused of Child Molestation
Allen Grafton ...
Himself - Accuser
Ed Jagels ...
Himself - Kern County District Attorney (archive footage)
Brenda Kniffen ...
Herself - Accused of Child Molestation
Scott Kniffen ...
Himself - Accused of Child Molestation
Carla Modahl ...
Herself - Daughter of Jeffrey Modahl
Jeffrey Modahl ...
Himself - Accused of Child Molestation
Victor Monge ...
Himself - Accuser
...
Himself - Narrator
Marcella Pitts ...
Herself - Accused of Child Molestation
Rick Pitts ...
Himself - Accused of Child Molestation
Kathleen Ridolfi ...
Herself - Northern California Innocence Project (as Kathleen 'Cookie' Ridolfi)
Ed Sampley ...
Himself - Accuser
Linda Starr ...
Herself - Northern California Innocence Project
Edit

Storyline

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 Dana Nachman

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Some convictions are criminal

Genres:

Documentary | Crime

Parents Guide:

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Details

Official Sites:

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

2 November 2008 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

An American Witch Hunt  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

(original)

Sound Mix:

(Dolby 5.1)|

Color:

| (HDCAM)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Quotes

[first lines]
title cards: There are more than 2 million people in American prisons today. This film is dedicated to the thousands of them who are actually innocent.
Narrator: [narration] 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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User Reviews

 
Fabuous and Important Film
24 May 2009 | by (New York) – See all my reviews

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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