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Capturing the Friedmans: In the 80's, in the upper-middleclass district of Great Neck, the awarded Professor Arnold Friedman is arrested for possession of some magazines of child pornography. A further investigation of the police discloses that apparently Arnold and his eighteen years old son Jesse molested his young students during their private computer class. Their Jewish family tears apart with the situation and the sentences of Arnold and Jesse.

  • Currently 3.21/5
(96 votes)
Released: January 17, 2003
Runtime: 107 mins
Genres: Documentary Crime Mystery Biography
Countries: USA
Director: Andrew Jarecki
Actors: Chuck Scarborough David Friedman John McDermott Larry King

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Capturing the Friedmans Comments

Posted by Suzicueball 7 months ago
100% Useful

Wtf is wrong with that woman saying he liked those pics just looking at them and didn't act on them just used to meditate ? that's the only thing that really pissed me off but I can't say that I've made up my mind on this. I'm not totally convinced of the charges but some of the things that were said were a bit disturbing. Especially the way Jesse was acting towards the end. That footage hit hard when someone went after his insensitive ass. I just don't know . This is a really long doc with lots of interviews and footage. It's sad but what's the truth? you don't get it here.

Posted by JessicaAnne22 1 year ago
100% Useful

To me, I don't know whether Jesse and Arnold were guilty or innocent. There seems to be two sides of the story, although this type of crime instantly makes me hate them and want to see them punished. Either way, David seems to be the most screwed up one of the family. Very sad

Posted by degsfurb 1 year, 8 months ago
100% Useful

Fascinating documentary. Everybody says Family life is the be all- but here was intrinsic evil right at the heart. Family life IS the be all if conducted properly. It left me unsatisfied though. Where was the evidence of the porno mags behind the camera? Where was the undeniable testimony? Did i miss something. They were an insidious bunch though. I was irritated by Davids pontificating in front of his new camera. Did it happen dad? No. But whenever the camera zoomed in on Arnie he shifted uncomfortably. The best bit was when the Mother rounded on them all and ordered them out! She was clearly wondering why she bothered to spawn the lot.

Posted by VerucaSalts 1 year, 9 months ago
100% Useful

I'm not sure what to think after watching this. Going ONLY on what information was given in this documentary it seems plausible that sexual molestation or abuse did not happen during the computer sessions. I know that children can be (or anyone for that matter) can be coerced into saying anything by the way you word your question. I noticed how the one police didn't ask the children questions he said he went in there direct and said we KNOW that you were touched by Mr. Friedman, now tell us what happened. Being that children and people in general want to please those in authority it's not outrageous that all of these claims came out. The one kid who only came once a week said he was molested 3 times a week for years? How does that add up? What kind of defense lawyer did they have? I don't know. Somehow some of the facts must be missing or something cuz something just isnt adding up for me. Now suffice it to say I DETEST child molesters and I believe there should be a special place in HELL for people that abuse children (and old people) but given what I just saw I have reasonable doubt. Now the father was a pedophile (nasty bastard) and he should have been convicted on that but somehow if he did do something to those kids or not I don't feel like his son Jesse played any part in it. I felt so sorry for the mom too, seemed like such a sad dysfunctional life she led. They really had a boys club and she was not welcome. I suspect that the father only married because it was the socially acceptable thing to do but what he would have preferred would have been a homosexual relationship. (If the letter he wrote and his behavior during his marriage are any indication) I wonder if he molested his sons too? Oy vey. **shrugs**

Posted by kgaston08 1 year, 10 months ago
100% Useful

First things first why, just why would you be a CLOWN in a family FULL of pedophiles!!! Good documentary, a bit comical, worth the watch. I think all the sons were molested hence the tight bond and exclusion of the mom (the guys really stuck to the rule no girls allowed). My opinion the dad's brother definitely remembers which probably explains his choice of relationship, did ya'll peep how they waited at the end to pan the camera to his "partner" lol.

Posted by lezza 2 years ago
100% Useful

Really hard hitting documentary. I was really shocked that there was no dramatisation needed for this as there was so much home footage. I felt really sorry for the mother who was being victimised by her own family!! Couldn't make it through the whole thing, made me feel sick. They seemed to all contradict each others statements. One would say one thing and somebody else would say the total opposite.

Posted by Jack_T_Tumult 2 years, 2 months ago
100% Useful

An absolutely brutal documentary to watch. Not a usual reconstruction of a crime or a display of a broken family dynamic because of the vast amounts of home footage that is available to be spliced together. It is incredibly fascinating to watch them documenting themselves during the various indictments and trials. Well worth watching if the subject matter doesn't overtly disturb you.

Posted by alvawalsh 2 years, 8 months ago
100% Useful

Really interesting documentary.The brothers are in total denial of the whole thing and attack their mother as a way of dealing it I think. Also there is never smoke without fire in these kinds of cases. Police don't just go knocking on random peoples houses to accuse them of having child porn! your name is popping up somewhere on more than one occasion! You don't just stumble across that you have to go looking for it!

Posted by clappingforyou 2 years, 11 months ago
100% Useful

Really unfortunate what happened to this family. I also feel bad for the mother; all of her children turned against her when she thought she was doing the right thing and she knew best for Arnold and Jesse.

Posted by EraseTheHate 2 years, 11 months ago
100% Useful

Really great documentary. Very sad. Disturbing story. This is definetly worth seeing.

Posted by baymatt 3 years, 1 month ago ( Edited 3 years, 1 month ago )
100% Useful

By the way, this movie is on youtube. If you're like me, some of these sites are hit or miss with the buffering. This was an excellent doc. Very disturbing though. One thing that struck me as interesting was how the one brother videotaped a lot of the drama surrounding the trial with the parents' (most likely because of his age) video camera. It was probably seen as strange in the '80s, but these days it's common practice to document things in such a way. Also showed how even early computers had pornographic "programs" that people played/watched/whatever. And I thought dot coms were when porn was introduced to the net, lol. Anyway, the father in this movie was a sicko, and I think Jesse was too...on youtube it shows how information was left out of this documentary. Check that out if you're interested...I don't know what to score this doc., I just know it made me think.

Posted by DBSKx 3 years, 1 month ago ( Edited 3 years, 1 month ago )
100% Useful

Why did they gange up on the mother ! I really felt sorry for her. The whole case is just very confusing, I don't know what to make of it honestly.

Posted by kokotye157 3 years, 9 months ago
100% Useful

wow....such dysfunction in this family. I agree with lawless regarding dark secrets and the denial is almost comical. great documentary.....i wonder who is going to spill the truth in a tell all in 20 years....9

Posted by The_X 4 years, 3 months ago
100% Useful

loved it! I highly recommend ! Totally imparcial...the viewer take his own conclusions....

Posted by roch20 4 years, 4 months ago
100% Useful

Jesse was a victim, I feel very bad for him; also the mother, she's a lady with class; but David, he has been horrible with his mother, unfairly, but in these circumstances, who knows what else could they do? He (David) loved his father but at the same time, he was blinded by this love, so I think he felt bad for him, and though I can understand his frustration, I am afraid that I can't understand such cruelty toward his mother , he was brutal, in my opinion, that was unfair!

Posted by lawless 4 years, 4 months ago
100% Useful

I think Jesse was more involved than he admitted to. I also think that a lot of family background was left out, the mother clearly says she doesn't want to talk about it. That's a family with dark secrets...

Posted by lichtschein 4 years, 5 months ago
100% Useful

I cried. That story (no matter who told the truth) was moving.

Posted by boihorror80 3 years, 1 month ago
75% Useful

One Of The Best Doc Ever Made, You Watch It And Your Still Confused What Really Happened, Sad !!

Posted by hlucn8tn 1 year, 9 months ago
67% Useful

This is what it is...It happened all over the world...Nothing much else to say about the events. As far as the documentary it as long and slow and there is so much not said that the truth is hard to find on either side.

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Posted by limon8820 2 years, 11 months ago
57% Useful

CONTAINS SPOILERS...It was boring and sick! The dad and son definitly were guilty and I think the mom knew the whole time what was happening in her home, but did nothing while it was going on. If the dad had those magazines sitting out? Office or not, she had to have seen them. I like how she was OKAY with him having molested one boy, but two just put her over the edge and she was shocked he had lied to her. Disgusting! If I was with someone and they said it happened at all........realtionship OVER. There is no excuse for it. The family is fucked up and now the kid Jessie is a predator on the loose as well. Plus, if yout family had been accused and found guilty of molesting kids, would you grow up to be a 40 year old birthday clown working with kids and living in a run down apartment full of wigs and makeup? That is some horror movie shit waiting to happen right there. Everyone in that family is lying. How sick was it when the lawyer told the story about moving tables cuz Arnie was getting turned on by a toddler bouncing on his dads leg? Eww, I am not impressed I watched this and they can all burn in hell.

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