The Witness (2015)


“If I was going to have more success, Charlie Skoller suggested that I start with the trail transcript. My family couldn’t bear to go to the trail in 1964 so I never heard the testimony of the witnesses. Only 5 of the 38 witnesses were called to take the stand.” – William Genovese

Number of Times Seen – 1 (19 Aug 2019)

Brief Synopsis – A man tries to uncover what actually happened 50 years earlier when his sister was murdered on the street and nobody came to help her despite their being proof of over 30 witnesses to the crime.

My Take on it – This is a film that I had never even heard about until my friend Jane mentioned it earlier this week.

It sounded intriguing, so I decided to see what it was all about.

This is a movie that is presented in an amazing way that allows us to see the ripple effects of a crime from 50 years ago on those that knew the victim and ultimately on society as a whole.

The story is told in a very personal and intimate fashion and allows us to so much insight into how this crime affected a family and essentially tore them apart at the seams due to the lack of closure that they received from the police investigation and trial.

Loved the fact that they show us how even the close family members disagree on the path as they debate whether to proceed with this investigation at various stages along the way in their attempt to get closure on the subject.

This movie allows us to see the varying perspectives on the how and why of the crime from different sources that are both reliable and unreliable at the same time which forces us to decide what to believe and what not to since there is no clear consensus on the how and why of things in this case.

This film is basically a journey to discovery that isn’t always easy to watch because of places it goes, but it still remains an essential journey since it allows us to see how things have changed or even stayed the same over the period of more than 5 decades.

They find a way to tell this story in a very gripping and engaging way that remains fascinating from the start all of the way through the end.

Bottom Line – Amazing documentary that is able to show us the ripple effect on a family and on society as a whole from a crime that occurred 5 decades earlier. The story is told in a very personal and intimate way which allows us to get so much insight into the family that was torn apart by this crime.  Loved the fact that there is even infighting between the close family members as they try and decide how far they wish to go in order to get the proper closure that they are seeking. The film gives us various perspectives on the crime itself told by numerous people connected to the story and how even after so many years it’s almost impossible to get a clear consensus as to what actually happened and why. This is a film about a journey to closure and is not always an easy one to take, yet nevertheless its an essential one that tells us so much about our society and how not much has changed in the 50 years since this crime was perpetrated.  It is able to tell this story in a gripping and engaging way that stays fascinating from start to finish. Highly Recommended!

MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – “The Witness” was Shortlisted for the 2017 Academy Award for Best Feature Documentary. (From IMDB)

Rating – Oscar Worthy (9/10)

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One thought on “The Witness (2015)

  1. Pingback: MovieRob Monthly Roundup – August 2019 | MovieRob

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