Witch Hunt (2008) 720p

Movie Poster
Witch Hunt (2008) - Movie Poster
Genres:
Crime | Documentary
Resolution:
1280*714
Size:
832.60M
Quality:
720p
Frame Rate:
29.97 fps
Language:
English 2.0  
Run Time:
91 min
IMDB Rating:
7.4 / 10 
MPR:
Add Date:

Downloaded:
1083
Seeds:
56
Peers:
7
Directors: Don Hardy [Director] ,


Movie Description:
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.

Screenshots

  • Witch Hunt (2008) - Movie Scene 1
  • Witch Hunt (2008) - Movie Scene 2
  • Witch Hunt (2008) - Movie Scene 1

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Reviews

Witch Hunt

Sean Penn is an accomplished actor, but this documentary in which he is not seen, is unquestionably the most important film of his distinguished career. In the 1980s, a Satanic abuse panic spread throughout the United States, the most notable examples of which were McMartin and Bakersfield. The latter started as allegations of regular child sexual abuse, but grew into lurid tales of Satanism. One man was accused of murdering his son; the fact that the boy was very much alive did nothing to dampen the enthusiasm of the witchfinders.

Any claim of sexual abuse that includes women should automatically be suspect; one woman is passable, but a group of them? They just don't do that sort of thing, yet the fantasies persist to this day. These poor people were sentenced to dozens and in some cases hundreds of years in prison after being convicted on hundreds of charges on no evidence worthy of the name.

Jeff Modahl spent 15 years behind bars; he was freed only after a tape came to light of a therapist, (so-called) and law enforcement coaching one of the young non-victims. John Stoll served 20 years, being freed on his 61st birthday. Even more sadly, two of those accused died in prison without clearing their names.

"Witch Hunt" includes much archive footage, interviews with parents, children (some now with children of their own), and some comments from the unrepetent persecutors who claim there was no actual witch hunt.

This documentary is more relevant than ever at the time of review in light of the ongoing persecution and wilful miscarriages of justice being enacted here in the UK.

Haven''t watched the movie yet, but a little background...

To give everyone a little background of what was happening before Jagels was elected, there were many named city and government officials, as well as business owners and campaign managers, who were involved in a loosely knit society of abusing 10-14 year old boys. These children were being used as sex slaves, and many other completely horrendous acts that these men forced upon these kids. The most famous (or infamous) of these children was Robert Mistriel, who was accused of killing a high official, Edwin Buck. Apparently Mistriel was a hustler (male prostitute) when he was referred to Buck from another molester, who at the time was a co-owner of the newspaper. Mistriel was needless to say treated as a sex slave, among other things, and eventually could not take the abuse any longer and apparently conspired to kill Buck with an acquaintance. Mistriel was put on trial in 1983 and was sentenced to 31 years to life in prison, and has adamantly stated he was not the one who killed buck. Here's the kicker... all those officials who molested these children were well- known by law enforcement for doing these acts; they were never reprimanded for their actions, and never denied they had taken part in these actions.

Here's my take on WHY they concocted the entire child molestation ring; to deflect the fact that Bakersfield had molesters in the highest positions of city government.

Powerful, But Leaves Questions

There isn't enough money in the world to pay back the men and women who were (and were not) featured in this film as the victims of false accusations and imprisonment.

That being said, I do wish the documentary had at least asked some obvious questions. The DA's motive for arrests and convictions was clearly enough stated; get convictions seeming to clear the county of "bad guys" thereby furthering political careers.

But who was doing the arresting? Who was handing down orders to do so? Who decided which people would get arrested and charged? Who was coming up with the elaborate details of these false charges? These questions leave a lot to wonder about. And in a film where you (or at least I) believe what is being put forth, which is the truth of the accused, you want there to be no stone unturned. You don't want there to be any question for the doubter that if the "right" people had been asked the "right" questions, we might have a different result.

Ask the damn questions. Get answers from the people who still may even profit from the long ago verdicts. And if you can't, say so. At least say something about having tried.

Make no mistake - I think this movie does a fantastic job on shedding light on a very dark side of humanity. And It left me wanting to give the most heartfelt hug to ALL the victims (both the charged and the then-children).

Still, other questions include; What of the neighbors and surrounding community? What about family? What about friends or former friends? Why weren't any of them interviewed? What did they think originally? What do they think now in lieu of the reversals of convictions? The first person approach is powerful and poignant. But those prone to the sort of hysteria which prompted this sort of thing to gain ground in the first place will ask, with sword in hand, "why?"
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