Capturing the Friedmans

| July 28, 2003

Capturing the Friedmans is a new documentary chronicling the conviction of popular high school teacher Arnold Friedman and his 18 year-old son, Jesse, on charges that they molested students tutored in their Great Neck, New York, home. The film incorporates family photos, home movies, and videos with interviews of those directly involved with the case. Although both Friedmans plead guilty to the charges, to this day, many questions remain -- most notably, whether the alleged victims were coerced to 'remember' the crimes. Of all the former students interviewed, only one claimed to be molested. And even he questions the validity of his memories, as they were 'recovered' while under hypnosis. Despite the film's provocative title, it's impossible to capture the truth, as Arnold Friedman died in prison in 1995. Jesse Friedman's website reveals insight into his proclaimed innocence and why lawyers apparently advised him not only to plead guilty, but also to falsely accuse his father of sexually abusing him, too.
-- Erin Ferdinand

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