Pre-Order “The Witness,” The Critically Acclaimed Documentary

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August 24, 2016 — “’The Witness’” is required viewing.” The Artery

The Witness, the James Solomon-directed documentary about Bill Genovese’s search for answers about the death of his sister, Kitty Genovese and the subsequent reporting of her death — which made her an icon of “urban apathy” and big-city crime — is available for pre-order on DVD and Blu-Ray.

The name Kitty Genovese became world famous when The New York Times reported in 1964 that her murder had taken place over the course of half an hour, during three separate attacks, and that 38 of her neighbors stood and watched while it happened without making any attempt to help the screaming victim. The story got worldwide attention. Bill Genovese’s family lived with more than just the shock and pain of losing a loved one — they were hounded by the press and followed by the story.

They family rarely spoke of the incident and Bill, Kitty’s younger brother, knew little of the details of the crime. 

However, in 2004, The Times elected to do a follow-up article about the 40th anniversary of the infamous crime. The writer/researcher, Jim Rasenberger, reported that there were significant mistakes in the original article. The number of witnesses seemed apocryphal; most people cited in the original story told Rasenberger that they had not seen the crime and had no idea that something serious was happening; several people claimed they had called the police only to be told the crime had already been reported.

There were so many elements that contradicted the original story that Bill Genovese, Kitty’s younger brother, decided to investigate in order to learn as much as possible about the way his beloved sister died. In his ten-year-long search for answers, he also learned a great deal about the way she lived. Director Jim Solomon, who originally planned to write an HBO movie on the subject, spent those ten years documenting Bill’s efforts to reclaim his sister’s life from the tragedy of her death.

The resulting documentary has received rave reviews from both critics and audiences. 

“While superficially about this crime, at its very core The Witness is a devastating and unforgettable meditation on loss, told through the eyes and suffering of a man who is as engaging as they come. The power of myth making within everyday life is also something confronted within this film, a documentary that’s one of the truly great films of this new wave of true crime non-fiction storytelling.” Joshua Brunsting, Criterion Cast

“As deeply moving as it is enlightening.” – The Hollywood Reporter

“A multi-layered nonfiction work about myth, self-deception and reclaiming life from death.” – Variety

“Suspenseful and surprising.” – Los Angeles Times

“Like a visualized ‘Serial.’” – VICE

“Extraordinary” – The New Yorker

“The Witness is not the first attempt to amend the official record on the Kitty Genovese story… but it’s certainly the most personal and moving.” – Vogue

“Astonishing” – Newsweek

The Witness is available for pre-order on Blu-Ray and DVD; the title will release on September 20.

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