Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Capturing the Friedmans

Last night as Mark was getting dinner ready, I started sifting through the "On Demand" listings, looking for a movie to watch. My intention was to find something light and amusing because a) we were going to be eating dinner shortly and b) his dad would be joining us. What I found was not light and amusing, it was thought provoking and quite sad. We were drawn into the story and ended up watching the whole thing. It was riveting.

I had heard the title of the film before but must admit that I didn't know anything about it. The film is a documentary about a family from Long Island who went through what can only be described as "hell" when the father and youngest son from the family are accused of molesting dozens of children. Admittedly, the father, Arnold Friedman, had a sexual interest in young boys but there is no real evidence that these events ever happened. From where I sat, it looked like the Nassau county police wanted to humiliate and incarcerate Arnold when they found out that he had a collection of child pornography. In the end, they destroyed his life.

Overall, the film is really well made. The Friedmans had hours and hours of home movies from when the children were small. One of their sons had a video camera while the whole prosecution was going on so they had extensive footage of the time leading up to both Jesse and Arnold's imprisonment. I know that it's out on DVD and I'd like to rent a copy to see the additional footage.

One thing that made me smile today: The fog. It's been really foggy here but as long as it's warm enough for the fog to happen, it's not snowing (plus, if you don't have to go out in the evenings, it's pretty neat to look at).

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