15
Apr 04

Quite possibly the biggest issue avoided

Do You SeePost a comment • 506 views

Quite possibly the biggest issue avoided in the compellingly non-judgemental Capturing the Friedman’s, is the job of the eldest Friedman boy – David. The story of the documentary is simple. A middle aged computer teacher gets snaffled with a lot of kiddie porn and then him and his youngest son get accused of hundreds of cases of sexual abuse. A fascinating look at the way evidence shifts, false memory and the nature of truth in the US justice system. At the end the only thing you do not doubt is that the father had a batch of kiddie porn, which is about the only concrete evidence ever displayed. But in all the brouhaha regarding whether or not this award winning teacher ever physically abused children in his care it is completely ignored that his eldest son David Friedman is apparently the number one childrens party clown in New York.

Why a clown? Why children? It is a tantalising hole which tempts you towards libellous and almost certainly unfounded accusations. Yet the film begs the question, which also suggests that is might (might have already) destroyed his career. But considering her reems of film and video taken of himself and his family it is more than likely that David Friedman’s biggest neurosis is mere narcissism. It is notable that Seth, the middle son, decided to have nothing to do with the documentary, and you cannot help but think that if David was truly happy as clown-king of New York he should have gone the same way.

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