Formerly "A Movie A Day" :/

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Capturing the Friedmans - 2003 - Dir. Jarecki

If you like movies about Child Molestation, then this is the documentary for you! It creeped me out, which I suppose isn't a stretch considering it's subject: the convicted Father-Son team of child molesters in suburban Long Island. Perhaps what ends up being the most disturbing aspect of it is the film's own ambiguity in regards to whether or not their guilt is justified. It doesn't take a strong stance exactly, but simply repeatedly suggests that all is not what it appears. So by the end of the film, we're left hanging, having either seen the up close and personal lives of a family where two of the members committed awful acts OR the jailing of an innocent. To be honest, the family dynamic exposed by the plethora of home video the Friedmans' kept is unnerving enough but to have the insinuations of child molestation underneath is the Icing on the cake. The terrible, terrible cake. Their constant clowning throughout the process, either as a bizarre way of coping with the situation or just... I don't know what, becomes pretty surreal at times. Either way, it's a well-crafted documentary and Jarecki seems to have pretty surprisingly open access considering the situation (that he got the home videos and interviews at all seems lucky). Worth the watch if you want to feel unsure and unsettled.

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