Sunday, 16 March 2014

CAPTURING THE FRIEDMANS : 1980s investigation of Arnold and Jesse Friedman for child molestation

The story began when Andrew Jerecki (director) initially was going to make a film about children's birthday party entertainers in New York, including the popular clown David Friedman. However, during his research, Jarecki learned that David Friedman's brother, Jesse, and his father, Arnold, had been convicted of child sexual abuse.Investigators found a collection of child pornography in his home and found that Arnold Friedman received a magazine of child pornography from the Netherlands by mail.

Capturing the Friedmans" is one of those rare films whose subject matter alone can wipe you out emotionally. In that sense, Jarecki effectively puts the viewer on par with his subjects, an average American family named the Friedmans ,a father, a mother and their three sons from Great Neck, N.Y.  that found itself first at the center of a scandal and then the target of community and media hysteria. As the family unit quickly unravels and melts down, we are made to feel empathetic, even though this feeling is clouded by the nagging ambiguity surrounding the case itself.

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