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A brother's journey to unravel the truth about the mythic death and little known life of Kitty Genovese, who was reportedly murdered in front of 38 witnesses and has become the face of urban apathy.

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The Witness movie full length review - Comprehensive Documentary Reveals Flaws of the Media

This is a moving, comprehensive documentary about the life and death of Kitty Genovese, the woman whose murder was supposedly witnessed by "38 Witnesses" who did nothing.

It exposes the truth about the "witnesses," most of whom didn't actually see what happened. A couple of people did intervene, including a woman who cradled the victim as she died. The film exposes the gross malfeasance of The New York Times.

Kitty Genovese was murdered in the sixties by a lone sociopath, as she returned home from her job as a bar manager. The film details how publications such as The New York Times reported a story based on semi-accurate police reports and blew it up into an attack on American "apathy." But in reality, as this documentary shows, the truth was far more complicated. In my view the most shocking scene is an interview with Times former editor A.M. Rosenthal, who all but admits he was interested in advocacy not journalism. I couldn't help but think of the recent fiasco involving Rolling Stone magazine and their fictitious story about campus rape. And we depend on these entities to tell us the truth!

The most harrowing part of the film is a re-creation of the murder. The film is also a tear-jerker as we learn about the many lives impacted and destroyed by Kitty's murder. There's a fascinating scene in which the son of the murderer reveals the fanciful story told by his father to explain what happened, and we get the sense the son actually believes this absurd rationalization.

The film is in large part the work of Kitty's brother Bill who is kind of a main "character" in the film as he doggedly pursues the truth. I applaud Bill Genovese and the director for making this film.