Capturing the Friedmans

Synopsis: In the late 1980's, the Friedmans - father and respected computer and music teacher Arnold Friedman, mother and housewife Elaine Friedman, and their three grown sons, David Friedman, Seth Friedman and Jesse Friedman - of Great Neck, Long Island, are seemingly your typical middle class American family. They all admit that the marriage was by no means close to being harmonious - Arnold and Elaine eventually got divorced - but the sons talk of their father, while also not being always there for them, as being a good man. This façade of respectability masks the fact that Arnold was buying and distributing child pornography. Following a sting operation to confirm this fact, the authorities began to investigate Arnold for sexual abuse of the minor-aged male students of his computer classes, which he held in the basement of the family home. Based on interviews with the students, not only was Arnold charged with and ultimately convicted of multiple counts of sodomy and sexual abuse of these bo
Director(s): Andrew Jarecki
Production: Magnolia
  Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 25 wins & 15 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:
107 min

Well, this is private,

so if you don't,

if you're not me,

then you really shouldn't

be watching this,

because this is supposed to be

a private situation

between me and me.

This is between me now

and me in the future.

So turn it off.

Don't watch this.

This is private.

If you're the fucking,

oh, God, the cops.

And if you're the fucking cops,

go f*ck yourselves,

because you're full of shit.

Back in 1984, US Customs had

seized some child pornography,

addressed from the Netherlands,

in the mail to Arnold Friedman.

Now, he never got that

piece of mail,

but his name was

forwarded on to us.

So what we would do then

would be to initiate

a correspondence with

Arnold in the hopes

that we can determine if he is

in fact willing to violate

the statute again about mailing

or receiving child pornography.

"Dear Stan, the book is

Joe, 14, and his uncle."

I think I'd like you to send me

something, sort of good faith,

and I will forward this rather

precious book to you.

"Thanks, Arnie."

See, it's very hard

to believe that

this so-called "good

marriage" was so disturbed.

He sent him these pictures,

and he sent him a note

that I remember, because

the lawyer got the note.

And then he wrote, "Enjoy."

Since he had sent the magazine,

he was always asking

for it back.

So I asked the prosecutors,

"Let's grant him his wish.

He wants his magazine back."

I dressed up as a mail carrier,

knocked on his door,

asked him if he was

Arnold Friedman.

He replied he was.

And I said, "I have

a package for you."

Sign right here."

He did.

About an hour later,

we went back.

We would give him some

time with the magazine.

I'm dressed now.

I just put a blue suit jacket

over the carrier's uniform.

And I told him, "I have a search

warrant for child pornography."

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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    "Capturing the Friedmans" STANDS4 LLC, 2021. Web. 23 Jan. 2021. <>.

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