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Anatomy of a Nightmare



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A film about a father and son accused of child abuse is as much about families and the slippery nature of truth, its director tells SF Said. Capturing the Friedmans is a film that leaves audiences buzzing. After its British premiere at Edinburgh, everyone had something different to say about it. It’s one of the most controversial, talked-about movies of recent times; and it opens next week…The Friedmans, it seemed, were a respectable, middle-class Long Island family. Back in the 1980s, Arnold was an award-winning teacher with an apparently happy marriage and three loving sons. They were video enthusiasts, always taping their lives – holidays, dinners, evenings around the piano.Then, in 1987, Arnold was arrested and accused by the police, together with his youngest son Jesse, of sexually abusing schoolchildren, and the nightmare that tore this family apart began. Remarkably, they kept recording themselves through it. Their struggles to come to terms with what was happening – the rows and the revelations, the doubts and disbelief – took place largely on tape…

From Telegraph Arts