From the Brothers Grimm to The Wizard of Oz, witches feature prominently in the lore of Western culture; the hag with the black hat and hooked, warty nose helped shape our early conception of evil and taught us never, ever to accept advances from strangers. This Lifetime documentary examines the various representations of witches through time and across cultures, looking, too, at the waves of paranoia inspired by their mysterious craft. The film's dramatizations of the Salem witch trials aren't nearly as interesting as its interviews with modern-day followers of Wicca, who gather around the world to celebrate the marriage of natural and supernatural forces. A haunting score and a plethora of images make Intimate Portrait: Witches an interesting introduction to the legend (and reality) of the Great Coven. --Claire Campbell
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