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Capturing the Friedmans

[cert 15, 108 mins]

Capturing the Friedmans travels into one apparently
ordinary Long Island family's heart of darkness.
Arnold and Elaine Friedman had a normal life with
their three sons until Arnold was arrested on
multiple (and increasingly lurid) charges of child
abuse. Because the Friedmans had documented
their own lives with copious home movies,
filmmaker Andrew Jarecki is able to sift through
their material looking for clues. Yet what emerges is
more surreal than fiction: the youngest Friedman
son went to jail; the eldest became a birthday-
party clown. In the end, we can't be sure whether
Arnold Friedman is a monstrous child molester or
the victim of railroading. The portrait of a
disconnected family is deeply disturbing, either
way, and this film is further proof that a
documentary can be just as spellbinding as
anything a great storyteller dreams up.

A family photograph of a man, a woman and three boys dressed in suits

Director: Andrew Jarecki


Level: AS, A2, KS4

Subjects: Film Studies, Media Studies

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