With any situation, you never really do know who’s telling the truth.
A family in crisis is “captured” through home video in this searing documentary about the Friedmans, an upper-middle-class family who found their world turned upside down when father and son were charged with child molestation in 1987. The media inundated the airwaves with coverage of the alleged crime, but some of the best footage — seen here publicly for the first time — was shot by the Friedman family members themselves.
I was never alive when this whole Friedmans molestation shit hit the fan, but with this film I got an idea of what was surrounding these people. The best thing about this film is that it doesn’t just show the Friedmans side, it also shows the police’s side as well. This gives us an idea, for us to make our own assumptions, as to who was right, and who was wrong, and if anyone was telling the truth.
The film does a great job of showing this family from the ins and outs. We get to hear and see all the emotions from the two boys, Jesse, and David Friedman, as well as the guilt-driven mother, Elaine. We never hear the story from the one boy, Seth, but I don’t think he had much to say, since his name only came up every once and awhile. But the one thing that bummed me out was that we never get to hear Arnold’s side of the story at all, probably because he was dead around the making of this movie, but I just wish we got to hear from him. And although we didn’t, i still liked the fact that the whole family told us every sigle point of their stories. We also get stories from the kids that Arnold “raped”, as well as, talks with his brother, who has a big surprise in the end, and other people that were acquainted with Arnold, as well as the Friedmans.
I just loved how director Andrew Jarecki got all these people together to talk about this one, messed-up family. The best parts of this film, are when they show the home videos, that for some dumb reason David took, of when the family started to really self-destruct, and you can see how family interaction’s really are, when something bad happens, and how they all go after one another. This fascinated me cause we always see this kind of stuff in films like, In the Bedroom, but never in real life, and I finally got to see that.
The whole film is just about real life. Imagine if everyday, you saw your dad, as this cool, down-to-earth dude, that you could talk to no matter what, and then you found out he had a secret, a secret that made you totally think different of him, how would you react. The film captures the realistic horror that goes into a family, knowing that their father, his whole life, has had these secrets. It may not sound as beautiful and great as it should, but really it something to see, if you want to see true family relations.
Consensus: Capturing the Friedmans works as a study of human, and family relations, and the horror that stands behind it all, as well as a study for the real meaning behind truth, and who did what.