Capturing the Friedmans

Directed By: Andrew Jarecki

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Product Overview

Documentary on the friedmans, a seemingly typical, upper-middleclass jewish family whose world is instantly transformed when the father and his youngest son are arrested and charged with shocking and horrible crimes.


Studio HBO
SKU 40232194
UPC 026359227820
UPC 14 00026359227820
Format DVD
Release Date 1/27/2004
Rating Rating
Essential Cinema
Family Interaction
Theatrical Release
Editors Note
Note 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 façade 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.
New York Times "...In this somber and thoughtful documentary, Mr. Jarecki has the good grace to probe for answers while not allowing the camera to become intrusive..." 05/30/2003 p.E13
Entertainment Weekly "...CAPTURING THE FRIEDMANS is gripping, lacerating, moving, and tragic -- a work of documentary art..." 06/06/2003 p.54
Rolling Stone "...This movie will pin you to your seat....A strikingly hard-nosed feature debut..." 06/12/2003 p.102
USA Today "...Not since MEMENTO has a movie served up such a provocative mind-bender..." 06/13/2003 p.4E
Chicago Sun-Times "...Disturbing and haunting....The film is an instructive lesson about the elusiveness of facts, especially in a legal context..." 06/06/2003 p.26
Film Comment "[A] tabloid spectacle with heart..." 01/01/2004 p.44
Movieline's Hollywood Life "CAPTURING THE FRIEDMANS lingers in the mind." 02/01/2004 p.101
Sight and Sound "[A] compelling documentary..." 04/01/2004 p.41
Andrew Jarecki
Name Jarecki,Andrew
Link Search Link
Cast & Crew
Adolfo Doring - Cinematographer
Andrea Morricone - Musical Score
Andrew Jarecki - Director
Andrew Jarecki - Producer
Richard Hankin - Editor
Technical Info
Original Release Date 2003
Catalog ID 92278
UPC 00026359227820
Number of Discs 2
Running Time 107 minutes
Color Color
Original Language English
Available Subtitles English, French, Spanish
Available Audio Tracks English
Aspect Ratio
ReviewSource The New York Times
Review Capturing the Friedmans is the most compelling movie I've seen in ages and one of the most as
Reviewer Frank Rich
ReviewRating 8
ReviewSource James Berardinelli's ReelViews
Review Various articles have labeled Capturing the Friedmans as a narrative documentary, a crime inv
Reviewer James Berardinelli
ReviewRating 8
DVD, Widescreen, English, French, Spanish, Subtitled
Product Attributes
Actor Jarecki,Andrew
Label HBO Home Video
Music Format DVD
Video Format DVD
David Denby, The New Yorker A Masterpiece...
Owen Gleiberman, Entertainment Weekly Grade A. An Extraordinary Film.
Peter Travers, Rolling Stone It's a modern horror story that gets you where you live.
Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times ...disturbing and haunting...

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