July 09, 2004

Capturing the Friedmans

Reality is not always what it seems on the surface, and sometimes not what it seems two and three layers down.

The reality here is so disturbing that it defies articulation, in large part because there really isn't any way to tell exactly what it is.

Arnie liked boys. Little boys. There's no denying that. The stack of magazines. The story he wrote the journalist lady who had the gall to consider his side. Arnie was not completely innocent. And if he hadn't sent that magazine, there never would've been an investigation.

However, the whole thing about the abuse associated with the computer classes was obviously a police department creation. And they did a hell of a job of creating it. As soon as they figured out that Arnie liked little boys, they had to get him in any way they could....but hey wait a minute. Arnie liked pictures of little boys. That's all that's proven. There was no evidence I could see that he ever touched a little boy. He seemed to have a handle on it, and probably the magazines helped him. Yeah, when the cops saw that he liked pictures, they made a big assumption about his other activities and became determined to prove something that they knew just had to be true. Why else would a pedophile hold computer classes, if he didn't want to take liberties with the students?

There are a few little hints that maybe something did really happen, just not nearly on the scale of what Arnie and Jesse were prosecuted for. These phantom allusions keep the weirdness quotient up pretty high.

Capturing the Friedmans is one of the most disturbing films -- and possibly the best documentary -- that I've ever seen, because it is so weird, and it is so real. The whole thing is told with interview footage and a disturbing amount of Friedman home movies. This whole freaky story is told in large part from the inside by the Friedman brothers using various film and video cameras.

This should be on HBO for a while. See it if you're up for being disturbed.

Posted by Wayne at July 9, 2004 04:49 PM

very good movie although i would say from the opposite perspective. this was a man who should be behind bars. And i was very disturbed at how the movie TRIED to show him as somehow framed. Although i have not seen the supplemental disc on the dvd which goes into more of the investigation and supposedly shows how much more of a "set up " it was. The movie is brilliant (in ways F9/11 never could be) though in depicting a family falling apart. But the facts are obvious. 1. mail pedophilia is illegal. 2. the dad admits to abusing a child although not in computer class but up at his cabin. 3. they both confessed.

Posted by: sethfoster at July 10, 2004 09:43 AM
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