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Review of Capturing the Friedmans

Posted by phduffy on 2004-03-28 15:07:40
First off, I think Rogers video should have a documentary section.

And "Hey, do you guys have Once upon a time in the West?"

"Umm... just a sec... let me check the computer.. .. we have once Upon a Time in Mexico, is that what you want?"

"No, I want Once Upon a Time in The West"
"oh... no, you can only buy that, we don't rent it".

Anyways, I end up renting Capturing the Friedmans.

This is a very interesting, very disturbing, movie.

It's a documentary that starts out by interviewing David Friedman, son of Arnold Friedman.
Who is Arnold Friedman? Well, as the movie progresses, we find out that he's a school teacher, who teaches computer class in his spare time.
Then, in 1988, he gets charged with the sexual molestation of the boys that were in his class. His son Jesse is also charged.

The movie then progresses with interviews with his wife, the detectives that were involved in the case, and two of his three sons. (One of his sons happens to be a clown in New York City, so it's kind of curious that he would choose to be in a movie about how members of his family have been charged with child abuse).
Anyways, the really weird part about this movie is that while all the accusations were going on, David Friedman was videotaping what happened to the family. We see him and his father the night before he goes to jail, and we see his rage at the police officers in a personal diary.

As the movie goes on, we get more horrific allegations, and more people conrfirming and denying them. We start to get some idea of what happened, but at the end of the movie, there's still lots of questions. At times we're led to believe one side, then we're moved to the other. At the end, we don't really know what happened.

To appreciate this movie you really have to be able to detach yourself from what's happening. If you get upset when you see stories of fictional abuse, you may not want to watch this movie. If you watch this movie and take in the horrifying nature of what's going on, you won't be able to handle it unless you detatch yourself. If you don't think you can do that, stay away.

This was a solidly interesting film, which is worth a rental.

For the chil......
Come on! We won't be using that for this review.