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Thursday, 13 April 2017

Capturing the Friedmans

People writing about this film tend to write about the child sexual abuse charges, the innocence or guilt of Arnold and Jesse Friedman, the questionable work of the police, the hysteria and trial by media, and the conflicts in the family, mostly between Elaine and the men. What I find most interesting, however, is David's perception and representation of his father as something like a saint and his mother as almost a monster, a selfish, manipulative person. 
Arnold Friedman's a paedophile. He may have been wrongfully convicted of sexually abusing his students in computer class, which we don't know for certain, but that doesn't mean he's innocent. He's a paedophile who confessed to molesting some boys. 
Elaine's not great, most of the fights apparently were between her and someone else in the family, and I can see why David resents her for persuading his father and brother to plead guilty. And yet it's striking how he refuses to see things from her perspective, to understand how she felt upon discovering her husband's paedophilia after being with him for years and why she acted the way she did. It's unfair.

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