Capturing the Friedmans 2003 NR

Amazon Instant Video

(96) IMDb 7.9/10
Available in HD

The Friedmans seems like a typical, upper-middleclass Jewish family until their world is transformed when the father and his youngest son are arrested and charged with shocking and horrible crimes.

Starring:
Arnold Friedman, Jesse Friedman
Runtime:
1 hour 47 minutes

Available in HD on supported devices.

Capturing the Friedmans

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Product Details

Genres Documentary
Director Andrew Jarecki
Starring Arnold Friedman, Jesse Friedman
Supporting actors David Friedman, Seth Friedman, Jesse Friedman, John McDermott, Frances Galasso, Anthony Sgeugloi, Chuck Scarborough, Joseph Onorato, Judd Maltin, Howard Friedman, Abbey Boklan, Ron Georgalis, Scott Banks, Larry King, Debbie Nathan, Jerry Bernstein, Peter Panaro, Lloyd Doppman
Studio SnagFilms
MPAA rating NR (Not Rated)
Purchase rights Stream instantly and download to 2 locations Details
Format Amazon Instant Video (streaming online video and digital download)

Other Formats

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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See all 96 customer reviews
Then, his youngest son was arrested as well for doing it with his father.
Mr. Christopher L. Cox
Quite apart from the compelling material, which makes this film so much more thrilling than any Hollywood drama of recent memory, the film is beautifully shot.
S. Herbertson
The "evidence" as portrayed in the film leads the viewer to believe that witch-hunt hysteria of the community destroyed one peodophile's family.
Donald D'Haene

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

41 of 41 people found the following review helpful By S. Herbertson on March 9, 2004
Format: DVD
Having being drawn to recent documentary features such as Spellbound, I took a chance on Andrew Jarecki's 'Capturing the Friedmans', having heard and read little about it. It is, without a doubt, one of the most compelling and troubling films I have ever seen. I won't re-hash the story as other reviewers have done that already, but would urge you to buy this film. Once the main feature is over you are desperate for more information, more clues and the second disc in the set goes some way to satiating that need.
The beauty of the film, expressed by Jarecki in both his commentary and in a Charlie Rose interview, is that it finally provides - albeit too late - the fair trial that the Friedmans should have been granted. Whatever the 'truth' of the story is, and we may never really know, the prejudice that was brought to bear on the case by the police, judiciary, the community and the media made it impossible for this most complicated family to be accorded their constitutional rights. We, the audience, are the jury now. Jarecki provides both prosecution and defence cases and we are left to decide the guilt.
Quite apart from the compelling material, which makes this film so much more thrilling than any Hollywood drama of recent memory, the film is beautifully shot. Jarecki exposes evidence carefully so that just when you feel that your mind is made up something is thrown in that broadsides you. Andrea Morricone's beautiful music is the perfect accompaniment to the anguish that the viewer feels throughout this painful quest for the 'truth'. The film's website (capturingthefriedmans.com)is a worthy partner to the film with some unheard audio footage, and is well worth visiting.
This is not quite an enjoyable film - the material too uncomfortable for that - but it is one that should be seen. Make sure you watch it with someone as all you will want to do afterwards is discuss it - and then you'll want to watch it again.
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 31, 2004
Format: DVD
In advance, it is helpful to know that this documentary originally was intended to be a light-hearted piece about professional birthday-party clowns in Manhattan, but the familial heavy baggage of one of its primary subjects, oldest son David Friedman, led to this darker and more compelling story of a family destroyed by human flaws and fate. The viewer can opine whether the cost to these individuals was appropriate and justified. And the viewer also can become emotionally invested in whether any redemption or restitution is still in the future for members of this family.
"Capturing the Friedmans" is a short synthesis of many hours of available documentation from multiple sources, reflecting snowballing events that occurred over months and years during the mid to late 1980s in Long Island, New York. In the shadow of the California "McMartin pre-school" alleged sexual abuse scandal, the somewhat unassuming and admired schoolteacher/musician Arnold Friedman was caught by postal examiners receiving and sending pedophilia pornography.
This aberration evolved during Arnie's childhood, was acted on to at least a limited degree twice in adulthood, and was a source of guilt and worry to him with respect to his own three sons. A subsequent zealous investigation resulted in Arnie and youngest son Jesse, 18, being accused of sexually abusing many young boys during home computer classes. Under conditions interpreted as nearly hopeless for the defense, both ultimately felt forced to plead guilty to hundreds of counts of abuse. Jesse was recently freed after serving 13 years of a 6-18 year sentence. After an insurance provision was satisfied wherein Jesse would be the beneficiary, Arnold committed suicide in 1995 during his 10-30 year prison term.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Michele Lange on September 30, 2006
Format: DVD
An utterly fascinating look at the crash and burn of an American family.

The father, Arnie Friedman, was witness to his mother's inappropriate and self-serving sexual activity; unsurprisingly, he turns out to be a pedophile whose penchant for buying kiddie mags gets him investigaged for child rape. His wife, Elaine, who looks like the years with Arnie has sucked the life out of her, walks around in a fog, totally bewildered that a)she married such a creepy little freak and b)her three boys prefers dad to her. Oldest son Dave is in his own state of denial about his father's problems and blames it all on mom. The most sympathetic figure is youngest boy Jesse, who was imprisoned for 13 years for a most unsympathetic crime.

Did Arnie and Jesse rape those little boys? The interviewed accuser comes across as less than credible - he contradicts himself, can't remember the first episode of molestation (though remembers plenty else) and when asked to explain an important detail, hesitates as though he were thinking "what the heck do I say now?" The Feds appear to have been caught up in the same hysteria that got a bunch of innocent day care providers tossed in prison in the 1980s - they used interview techniques that were more like criminal interrogations and hypnosis (reknown for inducing false memories.) Way to manipulate and damage little kids, you dumb cops.

In any case, Arnie is a self-admitted pedophile and his taste for child porn victimizes his whole family, especially Jesse (possibly in more ways than one.) Despite this, his boys absolutely adore him. It's hard to understand why - on their home movies, dad comes across as an emotional dud, with a flat affect and a distant stare.
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