Capturing the Friedmans

    • Andrew Jarecki
    • United States
    • 2002
    • 107 min
    • Reflecting Images
    Andrew Jarecki initially planned to make a documentary about birthday clowns, but changed his mind when he discovered that the father and youngest brother of one of the clowns, Silly Billy alias David Friedman, had been sent to prison fifteen years earlier for paedophilia and sexual abuse of young boys. David Friedman disputes these charges to this day. He gave Jarecki the painful home videos that show how schoolteacher Friedman’s family disintegrated in one giant swoop. The contrasts within this cleverly constructed film are intriguing: cheerful Super8 home movies, hysterical shouting, forced hugs, emotional outpourings. The charges against Arnold and his then 18-year-old son Jesse seemed strong: child pornography found hidden behind a piano; numerous ‘testimonies’ by children allegedly raped during computer class. But investigative journalist Debbie Nathan has her doubts: there was no physical evidence and the testimonies were obtained in dubious ways, such as under hypnosis. Many people present conflicting statements, so the facts of the matter, and the truth, remain unclear to the end. As a result of this ambiguity, the documentary has caused a stir in America, but has also earned millions at the box-office.

    Credits

    • 107 min
    • color
    • 35mm
    • Spoken languages: English
    Director
    Andrew Jarecki
    Production
    Marc Smerling, Andrew Jarecki, Jennifer Rogen for Hit the Ground Running Films
    Cinematography
    Adolfo Doring
    Editing
    Richard Hankin
    Sound
    John Gurrin

    IDFA history

    2003
    Screened
    Reflecting Images
    2003

    Reflecting Images

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    IDFA history

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