Best Movies by Farr
Capturing the Friedmans Poster
Released Runtime Category
2003 107 Documentary
Director Language
Andrew Jarecki English
Elaine Friedman, David Friedman, Arnold Friedman, Jesse Friedman

Capturing the Friedmans

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What's it About

Director Jarecki started out to make a film about Manhattan's most popular birthday party clown, one David Friedman. Peering into David's background, he walked into a house of horrors. It seems David's father, Arnold, a respected teacher in Great Neck, New York, as well as Arnold's youngest son Jesse, had been arrested for molesting Arnold's computer class students. This documentary bears witness to one dysfunctional family's disintegration amidst seamy accusations and precious few conclusive answers.

Why we love it

This harrowing documentary blends the Friedman clan's early, lighthearted home movies with footage of the unfolding scandal, juxtaposing a seemingly idyllic family life with a domestic situation rife with anger, resentment and pain. Viewers may differ on Arnold and Jesse's degree of guilt, but few will maintain there wasn't something weird going on in that house. Don't miss this bold, unsparing, unsettling film.

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BEST MOVIES BY FARR is your personal guide to great movies to rent, stream, or buy; to watch at home or on-the-go. Led by film advocate John Farr, the Best Movies by Farr team works as a "quality filter" for the discerning moviegoer. Every day, we bring you the best of the best, the fantastic familiar films and hidden gems, to answer that age-old question: "What should we watch tonight?"