Capturing the Friedmans : Movie Review

Capturing the Friedmans (2003)Capturing the Friedmans, the Grand Jury Prize winner at the 2003 Sundance Film Festival, was meant to be a documentary about New York clowns who entertain at kids’ parties. But following veiled hints from David Friedman, one of filmmaker Andrew Jarecki’s key clown subjects, that his family had a troubled past, Jarecki shifted gears to chase that story for his doc.

And well he did, because Jarecki was able to chronicle a gripping family tragedy that may or may not have, in reality, involved pedophilia, child molestation and incest on the part of certain members of a seemingly ordinary Jewish middle-class family (the eponymous Friedmans), terrible miscarriages of justice on the part of overzealous law-enforcement authorities and inept legal figures, and flat-out crowd hysteria in a Long Island community (Great Neck) that should have been immune.

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Author : Doris Toumarkine