Capturing the Friedmans - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Capturing the Friedmans Reviews

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½ March 21, 2016
This was an adventure, and it was less than 2 hours! I feel so bad for Jesse because I genuinely believe that he got caught in the wave of hysteria that was in the United States at the time. I hope the charges against him get dropped and he's able to live the rest of his life as a guilt free man. The documentary gripped me and didn't let go until the very end. I'm usually not that into documentaries, but I highly recommend this one.
½ November 2, 2015
Constantly balancing ambiguity with outrage, Capturing the Friedmans is a exceptionally well made and polarizing film that doesn't give you all the answers but allows you to form your own.
½ October 7, 2015
This was an adventure, and it was less than 2 hours! I feel so bad for Jesse because I genuinely believe that he got caught in the wave of hysteria that was in the United States at the time. I hope the charges against him get dropped and he's able to live the rest of his life as a guilt free man. The documentary gripped me and didn't let go until the very end. I'm usually not that into documentaries, but I highly recommend this one.
½ October 3, 2015
Really, really well done and edited. One fantastic documentary that remains balanced and I'm so puzzled at either possibility of the truth. But it's a really great story that has been well documented by the family and full of simple observations.
August 19, 2015
I'm still not entirely sure whom to believe. This is a testament as to how good this documentary is on denial, family, lies, love, and horror. I would certainly recommend it to whomever wishes to feel real badly about human nature and the evil ways that it manifests itself. Belief in WHATEVER is so powerful and it never ceases to amaze me how we are able to convince ourselves of ANYTHING. I say this only because this family is in absolute denial and they have genuinely convinced themselves that there father is innocent of all charges. With so much damning evidence, it is hard to believe that anyone, with any sense, would not prematurely convict this man of the horrors he committed.
April 11, 2015
"Who do you believe?"

Capturing the Friedmans gira en torno a los errores del patriarca de una familia lo cual tiene consecuencias devastadoras. Elaine y Arnold se casaron jóvenes y tuvieron 3 hijos. Arnold era un profesor respetado en la comunidad. Todo indicaba que eran como cualquier familia estadounidense hasta que un día la policía se presenta a la puerta de su casa con una ordenes de revisarla y consiguen revistas pornográficas de menores y esto es suficiente para apresar a Arnold y a su hijo Jesse ya que ambos enseñaban clases de computación a niños del vecindario. Al entrevistas a estos alumnos varios confesaron de haber sido tocados inapropiadamente y de cargos graves de abuso sexual. La comunidad entró en pánico ante estas acusaciones y ambos fueron llevados a juicio enfrentando condenas de por vida en la cárcel a pesar de que no hubo ninguna prueba física en contra de ellos. Durante el juicio los acusados tenían derecho de regresar a casa hasta el veredicto. En estas estadías David el segundo hermano -quien siempre tuvo afición por las cámaras - filma la dinámica familiar y las peleas que van escalando violentamente. Mientras que todos los hermanos toman el lado de Arnold en negación en cuanto a su crimen y hasta tratan de culpar a su madre por la situación diciendo desde que era frígida sexualmente hasta que era una mujer fría hacia ellos y que no tenía instinto maternal. La madre sintiéndose asqueada respecto a la situación, no niega la culpabilidad de su esposo y dice que ella sabía de la predilección de él hacía los menores, hecho que es corroborado más adelante cuando en la cárcel Arnold escribe una carta aceptando su pedofilia y hasta confesando del abuso de dos menores varios años antes. Los Friedmans nunca pudieron recuperarse y la familia se quebró irreparablemente. Arnold fue sentenciado a cadena perpetua mientras que Jesse a 20 años de cárcel. Abrumado por la culpa, Arnold se suicida. Elaine se volvió a casar en un intento de recuperar su vida. Capturing the Friedmans es un retrato crudo de cómo una acción puede arruinar vidas. El documental muestra varios testimonios y deja al espectador decidir la inocencia o culpabilidad de los sujetos. Conocemos a esta familia íntimamente y logra crear empatía hacia todos en su propia manera. A la final todos son víctimas de las circunstancias. Esta es una mirada intima a esta situación imposible a la cual se tienen que enfrentar. El final, en el cual Jesse se reencuentra con su madre nos da la esperanza de un nuevo comienzo.
April 9, 2015
Disturbing, odd, surreal...
½ April 9, 2015
There are a lot of films that claim to offer something along the lines of a balanced look at controversial issues, but rarely does a film actually strike that middle ground. Generally, I actually prefer that films have a slant that gives me the filmmaker's perspective on the events, since the creative team probably knows the subject matter more than I do. While I think the director aimed for a slanted story that exonerates the Friedmans (to some degree) this film really left me wondering whether the main subject of the film, Jesse Friedman, was guilty or innocent of sexually abusing young boys.

Regardless of what the answer is, one thing is certain: Jesse's dad, Arnold, had problems with pedophilia - problems which he tried to suppress and conquer, but which he nonetheless failed to keep in check. As a result, the whole family suffered, and that suffering is on display through home video footage taken during both Arnold and Jesse's trials. There is no voiceover narration, and the film bounces back and forth between alleged victims of sexual abuse, and the Friedmans themselves.

The director's choice of title for the film alludes to his likely opinion that the Friedmans were captured for an invented crime by the police, who may have pressured the kids into saying what they wanted to hear. At the same time, several kids claiming to have been raped multiple times came forward to testify against the two, and with Albert already having admitted to molestation of boys in the past, it isn't difficult to believe that it could happen again.

After watching the film, I did a bit of research online, and it now appears fairly clear to me that Jesse was unjustly pressured into a guilty plea for crimes he most likely did not commit. Even if he did commit some of them, the amount of influence his sexually disturbed father had on him must be taken into account.

This is one aspect of the case that I appreciate the film for digging into. There is glimpse into the "why" behind Albert's pedophilia, which is something I don't recall seeing in other investigations involving child molesters. How do they get to be the way they are? It turns out that Albert's mother used to frequently have sex with her boyfriends in front of him as a child, causing him to later admit that when he was 13, he tried having sex with his younger brother. His misguided and confused sexuality turned him into a very screwed up adult.

All in all, a very unforgettable film that left me with a lot to think about afterward. Props to the filmmakers for taking on such risky subject matter and pulling it off so well.
March 4, 2015
c'est un documentaire sur un père de famille psychotic
February 10, 2015
Editing own shots with videos from the Friedman themselves, this documentary will send a chill down your spine but will also make you reflect about the elusiveness of truth. Probably one of the best documentaries you will see in your life.
½ February 2, 2015
So disturbing and yet, so intriguing.
January 4, 2015
The subject matter of this mind blowing documentary is perhaps made more poignant by the bountiful media coverage of similar events in recent years. Although disturbing, the interviews and historical footage proves to confuse and although you know without doubt that there did exist some guilt, the true story is lost in varied narration.
½ January 3, 2015
Disturbing with some great clips of intimate family arguments ever recorded. A great example of STRONG denial.
November 1, 2014
Capturing The Friedmans disturbing study of a family falling apart never lets go and makes you question what to believe.
½ October 4, 2014
The same thing over and over. Interesting at first, but quickly becomes boring.
½ September 30, 2014
This is a truly unsettling, infinitely creepy documentary that will be hard to get out of your head.
March 26, 2014
Oddly, freakishly captivating
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