Though it’s due to be released on DVD Tuesday April 14, the documentary “Witch Hunt” is being shown at 7 p.m. Pacific Time on cable network MSNBC. Why should we care? Well, first, it’s an amazing film about falsely accused sex offenders that is executive produced and narrated by Sean Penn. Second, the Pearl Jam song “Long Road” is featured prominently in the film.
About the song’s and Penn’s involvement in the film:
“During the lengthy gestation of “Witch Hunt,” Nachman gave birth to two children. She was eight months pregnant with one of them when she got a voice-mail message from Pearl Jam’s lead singer, Eddie Vedder. For months, she had been sending him notes, asking to use the band’s emblematic song, “The Long Road.” Nachman recalls jumping up and down so much that her husband finally had to ask her to think of the baby.
The filmmakers also pursued Sean Penn for two years, trying to get him to donate his services as the film’s narrator. They received so many e-mails from a mutual friend encouraging them to “keep the faith” that they named their production company KTF Films.
Then one day in 2007, they received a call inviting them to come to Marin County to screen the film for Penn, but got stuck in traffic and arrived just as the screening was ending. Penn emerged from the screening room and, according to Nachman, said, ‘I’m in.’