New York Times - 05/30/2003
"...In this somber and thoughtful documentary, Mr. Jarecki has the good grace to probe for answers while not allowing the camera to become intrusive..."
Entertainment Weekly - 06/06/2003
"...CAPTURING THE FRIEDMANS is gripping, lacerating, moving, and tragic -- a work of documentary art..."
Rolling Stone - 06/12/2003
"...This movie will pin you to your seat....A strikingly hard-nosed feature debut..."
USA Today - 06/13/2003
"...Not since MEMENTO has a movie served up such a provocative mind-bender..."
Chicago Sun-Times - 06/06/2003
"...Disturbing and haunting....The film is an instructive lesson about the elusiveness of facts, especially in a legal context..."
Film Comment - 01/01/2004
"[A] tabloid spectacle with heart..."
Movieline's Hollywood Life - 02/01/2004
"CAPTURING THE FRIEDMANS lingers in the mind."
Sight and Sound - 04/01/2004
"[A] compelling documentary..."
Watching Andrew Jarecki's riveting non-fiction drama is like watching a slow-motion replay of a multi-car pileup; you know it's headed for disaster, but there's no way you can stop watching. On the surface, the Friedmans were a typical 1980s American family. Living in Great Neck, Long Island, Arnold was a well-respected teacher, Elaine was a dedicated mother, and their children Seth, Jesse, and David were model students. But one Thanksgiving, that happy fašade came to a crashing halt. After the local police discovered Arnold had engaged in the buying and selling of child pornography, they questioned several students who attended his computer classes in the Friedman basement. What they revealed would shock the community, and destroy the Friedman family forever. The subsequent investigation and trial uncovered even deeper hidden secrets at an alarming rate, creating a rift between Arnold and Elaine that would never be reconciled. Jarecki uses present day interviews with Elaine, Jesse, and David, as well as Arnold's brother Howard, to provide some sort of insight on the situation, but it backfires, for everyone has a different story to tell. And then there is actual home video footage of the family in the midst of the hurricane, which gives the film an eerie, voyeuristic charge.
Essential Cinema |
Family Interaction |
Theatrical Release Date: May 23, 2003 (NY) June 13, 2003 (LIMITED)