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Nominated for the best documentary Oscar, the intriguing story of the Friedmans continues to develop and compelling new evidence, witnesses and uncut footage of the prosecutions star witness are all presented on this two-disc edition. Its time to find out who you believe now.
On the DVD:Like the film itself, the bonus disc that accompanies Capturing the Friedmans asks a lot of questions, offers a few pertinent answers, and leaves a legacy of mystery in a case that many never be fully solved. What really happened in the basement of the Friedman home in Great Neck, New York? Is Jesse as guilty as his father in the notorious case of child molestation? Additional excerpts of the Friedmans' home movies only deepen the uncertainty we feel after viewing the film, and video footage from two early premiere screenings demonstrates that emotions will continue to run high as long as lingering doubts remain. The "altercation" at the New York premiere is actually rather benign, but only because filmmaker Andrew Jarecki kept the crowd under control before arguments could boil over; at the Great Neck premiere, the case's judge gets a chance to comment on facts that the film omitted while praising its overall veracity. Uncut footage of the prosecution's star witness makes it clear that the case was on shaky ground; even more than in the film proper, this witness (whose face is hidden in shadow) comes off as marginally credible at best, and at worst a vindictive liar, further suggesting serious weaknesses in the prosecution's case.
On a lighter note, "Just a Clown"--the film Jarecki was making when he discovered the true scope of the Friedman story--is a delightful portrait of New York party clowns and their reigning king, David Friedman, whose business thrives as he caters to wealthy Manhattanites. It's clear proof that Jarecki's a gifted documentarian. A featurette about Andrea Morricone (son of the great film composer Ennio Morricone) highlights his creation of the film's evocative score. Returning to the Friedman case, an interactive dossier of Friedman-related media delves deeper into the lives and personalities of this dysfunctional American family, and "Jesse's Life Today" examines the ex-convict's relatively upbeat recovery from 13 years in prison for a crime he allegedly didn't commit. For armchair detectives, an extensive menu of pertinent documents are provided as DVD-ROM content, the most fascinating being Arthur Friedman's confessional "My Story," a psychologist's assessment of alleged vic! tims, and a curiously revealing "Friedman family contract." Taken together, these and other documents add even more complexity to the film's compelling, Rashomon-like study of truth. --Jeff Shannon
Compelling viewing that commands a judgment from the viewer.
The dad, was he guilty? probably not of all that he plead guilty to, wanting to 'save' his son. Read more
The DVD arrived ahead of time and in excellent condition. Haven't watched all of it, but looking forward to have a DVD feast when I have time.Published 22 months ago by D. McFarlane
For what kind of movie it is, it's very interesting. And seeing my generation (people aged between 17-20) I found it very interesting.Published on 20 Jun. 2011 by Peter
Having being drawn to recent documentary features such as Spellbound, I took a chance on Andrew Jarecki's 'Capturing the Friedmans', having heard and read little about it. Read morePublished on 24 Jan. 2011 by S. Herbertson
We would not consider this to be a film to watch for entertainment purposes. It is purely a documentary gving interviews with the family of a man who is accused of child abuse... Read morePublished on 29 Dec. 2010 by Mrs. M. R. Russell
To say this movie is 'thought-provoking' is perhaps putting it a bit lightly. "Capturing The Friedmans" should go down as one of the bravest and most honest films about the crime... Read morePublished on 1 Nov. 2008 by Mr. M. Bloomfield
as a younger person i felt watching this for my current media studies a level work that this film is gripping and gives the audience the opportunity to make up their own mind. Read morePublished on 5 July 2007 by K. L. Saville
I saw this film without knowing the story of the Friedmans. During the film I went from believing they were innocent to thinking they were guilty and back and forward and so on. Read morePublished on 30 May 2007 by Maris Crane
This strange documentary about a family torn apart by allegations of child abuse is a mixture of interviews and bizarrely honest home movies which gives the viewer an unsettling,... Read morePublished on 23 Feb. 2006 by Neb