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At The Movies
"THE MOST COMPELLING AMERICAN FILM I'VE SEEN IN AGES!"
— Frank Rich, THE NEW YORK TIMES
— VANITY FAIR
IF YOU ARE AT A COCKTAIL PARTY
AND YOU'RE CHATTING WITH
TWO PEOPLE WHO'VE SEEN
`CAPTURING THE FRIEDMANS'
AND YOU HAVEN'T-
— CHICAGO TRIBUNE
— SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE
DEAD IN THE WATER?'
— BALTIMORE SUN
Pedophiles Or Victims?
— CHRISTIAN SCIENCE MONITOR
— CHICAGO READER
— May F. Pots, CONTRA COSTA TIMES
— ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY
"Two Thumbs Up!
THIS IS AN
It unfolds before our eyes
with the power of a biblical
story or a Greek myth:'
— Roger Ebert.
EBERT & ROEPER
Capturing the medmans
— David Denby, THE NEW YORKER
A FILM BY ANDREW JAR[(KI
01 mag p noli
Jezvish Journal of Greater Los Angeles
For showtimes visit www.LandmarkTheatres.com
118 N. Main. Royal Oak • (248) 542-0180
The audience is asked to determine guilt or
innocence as a troubled family's home videos
bring the documentary "Capturing the
Friedmans" to harrowing lift.
Who do you believe?
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7 /1 1
hen I met with Andrew
Jarecki, director of the
disturbing new docu-
mentary Capturing the
Friedmans, I was prepared to ask him
dozens of questions about the Jewish
aspects of the film.
But first, I desperately needed to
ask Jarecki one question: Did they do
Did Arnold Friedman
and his youngest son,
Jesse, repeatedly harass,
molest and sodomize
some of the elementary-
school boys participat-
ing in an after-school
computer club at their
house, or were they tar-
gets of an overzealous
police force on a witch
hunt in suburbia?
In 1987 (around the
same time that Jarecki
started what was to
become the ubiquitous
County police arrested
Arnold and Jesse on
dozens of charges of sex- Jesse (center) and Arnold (right) Friedman, Newsday, May
28, 1989: Their arrest frayed family ties.
ual crimes against chil-
dren. The manicured
hamlet came under a
Jewish community that prides itself
Clintonian-like media scrutiny and
on upward mobility and sends its
righteously turned on the Friedman
post-Hebrew school children to com-
But what makes this story different puter classes at the Friedmans.
Yes, it's your typical dysfunctional
from, say, other prominent cases of
Jewish family — smiling in bar mitz-
pedophilia, is that the Friedmans
vah pictures, fighting at the seder
themselves were intense documentar-
table — until the FBI knocks on the
ians: Throughout their lives, they
door, and the Friedmans end up tear-
shot stilted home movies of birth-
ing one other apart like hungry
days, holidays like Passover and
locusts. More than the accusations,
Chanukah and kiddie-pool parties.
the real horror of the story is the
Amy Klein is the managing editor of the drama of a recognizably bitter family
Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles.
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The filming didn't end after the
arrest, though. The camera remained
on while the accusations unraveled
Surprisingly, that is what is most
disturbing about the film — not the
sexual nature of the case, but the dis-
solution of the family: the nagging
Jewish mother, unsupportive of her
nerdy Jewish husband who meekly
faces her withering words; the chil-
dren — David, Seth and Jesse —
forced to stick up for their overpro-
tective father; the Stepford-like