Capturing The Friedmans


Documentaries have taken a boost this decade, especially cause of Michael Moore and his two raging bulls - Bowling For Columbine and Fahrenheit 9/11, Luc Jacquet's March Of The Penguins and Morgan Spurlock's popular Super Size Me. Now forget about those and think about the most hell blazing and incendiary piece of non fiction released this decade- you probably have no idea what I'm talking about. Andrew Jarecki's Capturing The Friedman's is as good as 90% of the shit hollywood spews on us every year- it's hypnotic, haunting and edge of your seat stuff. Released 6 years ago, it recounts the horrific tale of one family and their ordeal with pedophilia and child pornography charges. Upper Middle Class and award winning professor Arnold Friedman is charged with carrying child pornography magazines, it gets worse, Police further their investigation and start to suspect he and his son Jesse might have teamed up to molest young students from Arnold's computer class. Is it all true ? or are the police as corrupt as they claim Arnold to be.


Oscar Wilde has said that 'The truth is rarely pure and never simple'- That can easily be implied for what this film tries to accomplish with its twists and puzzling structure. We-as the viewer-try to guess who is lying and who is telling the truth but it's far more complicated than that. There are hidden secrets that will likely never come to fruition and never see light of day. Jarecki plays with the meaning of 'truth' and never takes any sides- Something documentary filmmakers have forgotten to do this decade. He leaves it up to the viewer to come up with their own conclusions, he gives us the facts and some of the most astounding -and haunting- family home video I have ever seen- take that Bob Saget ! There isn't an inch of flaw in this baby. Jarecki -a former movie phone employee- crafts something meaningful and unforgettable with a thin string budget. I cannot believe how many people do not know this documentary- it's compulsively watchable- and is the ultimate portrait of family dysfunction. Forget about Michael Moore. Best documentary this decade ? Do I really need to answer that.
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