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Capturing the Friedmans - the Friedman family, Andrew Jarecki

Threat advisory: Elevated - Significant risk of entertaining activities

Movie propaganda

Who do you believe?

The Documentary Grand Jury Prize winner at this year's Sundance Film Festival, Capturing the Friedmans delves into a world of secrets and unattractive truths. With access to the family's home videos and present-day interviews with the Friedmans, director Andrew Jarecki has constructed a film that inquires not just into the life of a family in turmoil but into a community, a legal system, and an era. By constantly keeping the audience's judgements and understanding in flux, Capturing the Friedmans embodies the difficulty of capturing the truth and is one undoubtedly of the best docos of the year.

Theatrical propaganda posters

Capturing the Friedmans image

Target demographic movie keyword propaganda

  • Film biography documentary father family interview home movie parent abuse childhood paedophilia

Persons of interest

  • Arnold Friedman .... Himself (Father)
  • Elaine Friedman .... Herself (Mother)
  • David Friedman .... Himself (Eldest Son)
  • Seth Friedman .... Himself (Middle Son)
  • Jesse Friedman .... Himself (Youngest Son)
  • Howard Friedman .... Himself (Arnold's Brother)
  • John McDermott .... Himself (Postal Inspector)
  • Frances Galasso .... Herself (Retired Director, Sex Crimes Unit)
  • Joseph Onorato .... Himself (Assistant District Attorney)
  • Judd Maltin .... Himself (Jesse's Best Friend in High School)
  • Abbey Boklan .... Herself (Judge)
  • Ron Georgalis .... Himself (Former Computer Student)
  • Scott Banks .... Himself (Judge's Legal Secretary)
  • Debbie Nathan .... Herself (Investigative Journalist)
  • Jerry Bernstein .... Himself (Arnold Friedman's Attorney)
  • Peter Panaro .... Himself (Jesse Friedman's Attorney)
  • Lloyd Doppman .... Himself (Detective, Sex Crimes Unit)
  • Jack Fallin .... Himself (Howard Friedman's Partner)
  • Andrew Jarecki .... Director

Cinematic intelligence sources

Intelligence analyst

Special Agent Matti

Theatrical report

Capturing the Friedmans is a revealing and intimate look inside paedophilia and the way it affects a reasonably average family. "Sharing" is a common American trait (just look at The Jerry Springer show) and, for some reason, the Friedman family choose to share their experiences.

These are scary people. None of them is sane. (I realise that everyone is insane to some degree, but these people are all nuts all the time.) Some of that is because of the trauma of being related to an alleged paedophile - vigilante justice is alive and well in the USA - but the rest is because they are neurotic. The parents inflicted their neuroses on the children, who incorporated them into their world view. They think that they grew up in a normal family. Uh-uh. This family was never normal.

We all have the experience of wanting to bash/lock up/kill child abusers, we all have the experience of jumping to conclusions, but Capturing the Friedmans gives you a look at the other side of the fence. Find out what it's like to have a father accused of paedophilia. Go on, it'll be fun.

Security censorship classification

MA 15+ (Adult themes, medium level coarse language)

Surveillance time

108 minutes (1:48 hours)

Not for public release in Australia before date

Film: New South Wales: 25 March 2004
Film: Queensland: 1 April 2004

Cinema surveillance images

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