Magazine article New Internationalist

Capturing the Friedmans

Magazine article New Internationalist

Capturing the Friedmans

Article excerpt

directed by Andrew Jarecki

The Friedmans - mum, dad and three boys - seem a normal suburban family. But Arnold, a teacher and one-time jazz musician, likes to look at pictures of naked boys. After the postal service intercepts a magazine he's ordered, police raid the family home. They eventually charge Arnold and his son Jesse with hundreds of counts of sodomizing boys who attended Arnold's after-school computer classes.

[Graph Not Transcribed]

Jarecki's documentary is an engrossing study of a family in crisis - and the validity of the police investigation. It's a one-off: the Friedmans obsessively recorded themselves on film, even after the police charges. Jarecki builds his film around their home movies and we learn a lot about them. We know early on about Arnold's sexuality and there's a lingering sadness about him. Yet he's witty, often good fun, and caring - he and his sons get on very well. …

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