Capturing the Friedmans
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Capturing the Friedmans

Ratings: 6.53/10 from 17 users.

Capturing the FriedmansTruth is often more harrowing than fiction, but it is a desperately elusive entity; even in a case such as the one explored in this disturbing but mesmerizing documentary, for which first-time filmmaker Andrew Jarecki enjoyed remarkable access to his subjects. Even Jarecki, who persuaded the family of accused child molesters Arnold and Jesse Friedman to cooperate with him, cannot decide whether the two are guilty, and his film raises as many questions as answers.

Capturing the Friedmans deals with the middle-class Long Island family torn apart in 1987 by child-molestation charges filed after a police raid uncovered kiddie porn apparently belonging to dad Arnold, a respected high school science teacher. He and his 18-year-old son, Jesse, were subsequently accused of molesting dozens of young boys, and their travails are painstakingly documented in this videotaped compilation, which even includes family footage recorded by another Friedman son, David.

We see strategy sessions between Arnold and his attorneys, conflicting testimony from alleged victims, posturing by police investigators and legal teams, and even the heartrending family farewells taped the night... (Barnes & Noble)

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9 years ago

Interesting , not sure about their guilt even after watching it twice

Elisha Heruty
10 years ago

One of my favorite documentaries of all time. Incredible story.

11 years ago

The filmmaker lied about his neutrality. And he actually funded the appeal. Watch "What Was Left Out? A Critique of "Capturing the Friedmans"" on youtube.

11 years ago

I agree with Heather that it is also advisable to afterwards watch the 10 minute critique on YouTube of the above documentary. I'm pretty certain that justice was served and that they were both guilty. A eerily disturbing story of what appears to be a profoundly dysfunctional family of narcissistic and troubled individuals. It's such an awfully tragic situation that lives of innocent children are forever changed by the mental and emotional dysfunction, indeed sickness, of these men.

12 years ago

i only got 9:38 mins. of the documentary played, how do i get the full version?

12 years ago

I remember watching this a while ago and coming out feeling that they were guilty. I thought the director wanted to prove their innocence at first, and then it turned out the father abused the son etc. Maybe I misunderstood it. I would watch it again, but it's a bit too disturbing and I'm not sure that it's worth the trouble for the sake of appeasing my curiosity...

12 years ago

its only pictures the woman in the hell did the pictures get taken you think the kids went tp the camera man willingly .you stupid piece of you fill in the blank. if it wasn't a market for this sickness it wouldn't be happening as need to be shocked alott.

12 years ago

@Heather - thanks for that, what a disgusting distortion of the facts by Andrew Jarecki - anyone feeling sorry for these sick bastards should take a good look at the youtube doco and consider the vital facts omitted from his documentary before denouncing your legal system and sticking up for filthy rock spiders, the lowest form of life on our planet.

12 years ago

I watched this film when it first came out and in my opinion it is in no way a balanced doc. i suggest you go on youtube and watch what was left out a critique of capturing the Friedmans. it will help the Americans who are doubting their legal system

12 years ago

Just a suggestion: how about putting this documentary on the sexuality tab?

Otherwise, great documentary.

Caroline Harris
13 years ago

The whole documentary can be seen on youtube. A balanced and sensitive coverage.

13 years ago

I watched this film whence I downloaded it from Limewire. This was a heart wrenching story. It's amazing how in this country we are made to believe that the "police" are infallible and that to question them is to be downright ignorant. I am sure there is a very good and real reason that The Innocence Project exists in this country where we are always told that we are innocent until proven guilty. I would beg to differ that in this country sometimes "beyond a reasonable doubt" is not sufficient to get exonerated. Try living below the Mason/Dixon Line where corruption is very real, especially in small town America.

13 years ago

Well, in democracies there needs to be evidence that will withstand the requirements of 'beyond reasonable doubt' to get a conviction. There was nothing beyond doubt in this very sad story and democracies are not meant to convict on 'gut'. How sad.

13 years ago

There is no doubt about it that these guys are creepy. This did take place during the child molester scare, in the 80's. But my gut tells me that these guys are the real deal. Yuck.

16 years ago