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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A very important documentary about local politics run amuck
This is a documentary about a group of parents who became ensnared in a child molester witch hunt in the mid-1980s. At the center of this inquisition is a county prosecuting attorney and his law enforcement henchmen, all bent to arrest someone, with nothing more than the testimonies of coerced and bullied children. What this movie points out is that the real abuse was at the hands of those officials who apprehended these children, bullied damaging testimonies out of them, and then essentially kidnapped them from their parents illegally. This movie does an incredibly good job of showing just how local politics, the local courts and law enforcement work, or don't work as the case may be. This type of thing is what happens in all-too-many communities when corrupt, power-hungry people attain positions of power and then make sure that they are unchallenged on every front. Ultimately, what this movie points out is that we only live in a free society when every move that these smarmy politicians, local courts and law enforcement agencies are monitored at every turn. On a final note, this movie shows that one of the best ways to keep these demagogues in check is to tell people outside the community (where injustices are taking place) about what is going on; this is what they fear the most: outside scrutiny.) I enjoyed this movie, but it really leaves a lot of questions unanswered. There is no real work to explain how the whole witch hunt began, or how some of these people were originally ensnared. But overall, it is a very compelling documentary that raises a number of important issues.
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