A film about two heart-broken parents. This documentary follows Ron and Sue Witman, fifteen years after their lives were turned upside down.
Dramatic events can happen anywhere at any unsuspecting moment, which can leave a family in a complete life-altering tumult within minutes. In this new era of obsession with true crime docu-series like ‘Serial‘ and just recently ‘Making a Murderer‘, Joe Lee brings the popular genre to the short film. The Witmans is a film about two heart-broken parents. This documentary follows Ron and Sue Witman, fifteen years after their lives were turned upside down. The Witmans looks at how a family clings together after 15 year old Zach Witman was accused and found guilty of murdering his 13 year old brother. Believing their son to be innocent, the Witmans take a 2 hour drive each weekend to visit Zach, who now is serving life in prison.
The film is a sort of documentary road story following Ron and Sue on their trip to visit Zach in prison, a multi-hour trip they make every weekend. It explores how a family can cling together and fall apart after a tragedy.
The film is not as flashy as our usual features, but it’s completely absorbing within seconds. The Witmans also takes a more human approach than the typical true crime film, where the focus lies more with how the family is handling the unimaginable situation, rather than on the events and case itself. This short has shed more light on the almost 18-year-old case, and certainly more compassion towards the Witman family. The filmmakers of this short are now working on a feature-lenght documentary that will follow the Witmans’ tireless efforts to exonerate their son, as well as investigate all of the missing pieces in order to find out: what happened in those seven minutes?