Capturing the Friedmans

Capturing the Friedmans (2/20/06) Netflix (2003 ***) Directed by Andrew Jarecki. This was a hard documentary to watch. It was the story of what happened to a family after the husband and one of his sons were arrested for child molestation. The documentary presented both sides of the story and hopped back and forth between them, so the audience was never sure what the truth was and had to actively decide for themselves. Arnold and Jesse Friedman maintained their innocence. Were they lying? If so, to what extent? The extent of the charges was horrifying to the point of being unbelievable. Other family members were clearly living in denial about what really happened. The power of the film was heightened by video footage shot by David, the oldest son, which chronicled both family arguments and goofball behavior. Earlier film footage, taken by the father, showed what appeared to be a happy family, laughing and dancing and fooling around. What we ultimately witnessed in Capturing the Friedmans was a family unraveling at the seams.

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