Capturing the Friedmans

Rated 4.0 A harrowing documentary telling the sad story of the Friedmans, an affluent Long Island family who were destroyed by their very sick patriarch. Arnold Friedman, a trusted, award-winning schoolteacher was arrested in 1987 after the FBI discovered he was distributing child porn through the mail. His arrest led to possibly trumped up charges that he and his son Jesse were brutally raping young boys during computer classes taught at their home. The Friedmans ultimately confessed to crimes that seemed too outrageous to be true, and the film casts some doubt as to whether the couple was wrongly convicted on some charges. Still, its goal is not to pass judgment on our judicial system, but rather to show how one man’s perverted flaw can destroy the fabric of a family. Home videos shot by the Friedmans are incorporated, giving a firsthand account of the disintegration of a family. The film leaves no doubt that Arnold Friedman was a sick criminal, but it does suggest he may have suffered for the sins of the father.