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Witnessing Headlines (2008)

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A first hand account of how the media exploited the Michael Jackson trial and made it into a circus. You follow two first time filmmakers as they try to understand why by turning the camera's around on the media.


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Title: Witnessing Headlines (2008)

Witnessing Headlines (2008) on IMDb 5.2/10

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Credited cast:
B.J. Hickman
Michael Jackson
Emily Smith


Two first time filmmakers set out to a make a film on the fans of Michael Jackson at his child molestation trial in 2005. Due to some unforeseen events the filmmakers found themselves becoming personally involved and became part of the film. The filmmakers found themselves compelled to turn the camera's around on the media during the trial. Written by Dana Gedrick

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Plot Keywords:

michael jackson | See All (1) »







Box Office


$30,000 (estimated)

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Aspect Ratio:

4:3 (cropped)
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Did You Know?


'Witnessing Headlines' took almost four years to finish. The film had only two people working on every stage of the filmmaking process. The film was edited at the home of the filmmakers in Santa Barbara California. The film had many cuts. One of them got into the Caribbean international film in Barbados. Instead of taking part in the festival. The filmmakers found themselves helping the other filmmakers get their films back because they were taken hostage. The theater would not release the films because the director of the festival did not pay them and the festival was a scam. The director was arrested in Barbados. See more »


We are the world
Written by Michael Jackson and Lionel Richie
Performed by Michael Jackson
See more »

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User Reviews

re: more than meets the eye
19 June 2010 | by See all my reviews

I caught this absorbing documentary under the title "The Trials Of Michael Jackson" which I can only assume was changed from it's original title "Witnessing Headlines" to make the marketing more commercial. It's ironic because I don't think either title accurately represents what the movie is conclusively about - thematically speaking, that is.

The filmmakers commence this documentary by taping footage of the fans who were persistent in their support for Michael Jackson and omnipresent at the courthouse during Michael Jackson's notoriously infamous trial in 2005.

Then as the trial progressed, the filmmakers turned their cameras on to the media and journalists who were covering the trial - and the fans - in a purportedly unbiased manner.

And this is where the fun begins, as one might say. You can also add, this is where the depth and the truth of how the media actually deals with issues of celebrity in a very maligned and one-sided approach. In other words, the media is meant to uncover the facts without judgment and biased observation and report those "facts" to the public in that exact same fashion. But this is where the film becomes a great observer of the shameful practices of contemporary media.

As the filmmakers begin turning their camera on the broadcasters who are covering this trial, the fascinating and revealing footage the filmmakers assemble bring to light the hypocrisies and the twisted techniques of journalism. Words can't exactly convey the actions of these broadcasters, to experience the slanted duplicity of these journalists it has to be seen to believe. It's a very sad state of affairs and all in the name of money-making headlines.

This documentary is both funny and uncomfortable at times, but overall enlightening and continuously fascinating. Seek it out no matter what title it falls under.

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