View Poll Results: Documentaries:

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  • Love 'em

    14 77.78%
  • Hate 'em

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  • Eh. Sometimes.

    4 22.22%
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  1. #1
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    "Capturing the Friedmans" & other documentarie

    Has anyone seen this movie? I watched it the other day. It's a documentary about a father & son accused of sexually abusing children in the '80s. They maintained the whole time that they were innocent, & there was never any evidence that they actually committed the crimes, while there was evidence that the police badgered the children into saying they were abused. On the other hand, they both pleaded guilty at the time, the father was a paedophile, & child pornography was found in the house. The movie really makes you go back & forth about whether you believe them or not. Plus it makes you think about the judicial system, the fairness of most trials, & how a family stays together after something like this. The father is dead, but the son is out of jail now, & still working to get his name cleared. So, I was wondering if anyone else had any thoughts about this movie! Or if anyone knows of any other good documentaries to watch. I *heart* documentaries!

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  3. #2
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    I came away feeling unsatisfied with Capturing the Friedmans because there was no resolve as to whether or not they did it. But I guess that was the point. It was a very depressing documentary but, of course, a very good documentary. What is amazing to me is that they were actually intending to make a documentary about birthday clowns and stumbled upon the Friedmans in the process.

    Regarding the judicial system, we happened to pick up Murder on a Sunday Morning at the store one night. What drew us to it was the fact that the documentary was based on a murder in the town that my husband and I were raised. But what we found was an amazing story about a boy falsely accused of murder. He was assigned to a public defender who was absolutely amazing.

    Just the other day we watched Mayor of the Sunset Strip. Yeah, I guess I like documentaries...

  4. #3
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    i love documentaries, too.

    i'd recommend the docs "Stevie" and "The Fog of War". i've only seen "Stevie", which is about this man with a screwed up life and family (the doc kind of explains his situation in a sympathetic manner...it's completely fascinating). My boyfriend raved about "the fog of war", but i haven't seen it yet.

    roxy the movie buff

  5. #4
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    I had a very hard time with Capturing the Friedmans and found it to be very disturbing and invasive. The mother, in particular, I found to be a very compelling person -- the way she supported her husband through the ordeal, and later reflected on and came to terms with the fact that he was a deeply unhealthy person. And the older son's misogyny was so jarring (the birthday clown one). Anyway, it's been a long time since I've seen it (almost two years), so my memory of it is not so good, but I remember being very upset by it. Not just by the element of "did they do it", which I guess isn't that important to me at this point since the father is dead and the son will probably never have contact with many children again, but by the element of "why did a family videotape all this stuff, and why I am so engrossed in watching this?".

    In general I like documentaries a lot -- but, like with any film genre, I think they can be well-done or poorly-done. A few of my favorites are below:
    Control Room (about Al-Jazeera)
    The War Room (about the first Clinton campaign)
    The Fog of War (seconding Roxy Fondue's recommendation)
    Roger & Me (classic!)

    ETA -- I can't believe I forgot Hoop Dreams! That one was so good! (About two kids wanting to become pro basketball players.)

    Edit again -- And Four Little Girls, Spike Lee's documentary about a church bombing (and the four girls killed in it) that happened during the Civil Rights movement.

  6. #5
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    Love em. Spellbound, Fog of War, Fahrenheit 9/11, Bowling for Columbine, Capturing the Friedmans, etc. etc.

  7. #6
    zil
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    I was pretty disturbed by “Capturing the Friedmans” as well. But that’s what makes for a good documentary. I totally recommend “Paradise Lost: The Child Murders at Robin Hood Hills”. It’s one of those documentaries that really sticks in your head. I’ve got “Standing in the Shadows of Motown” in my Netflicks queue and I’m looking forward to it. It’s about the Funk Brothers, they are a back up group that did almost all the music for Motown Records. Love me some soul music.

  8. #7
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    I love me some good documentaries! And i've seen almost all the ones you guys have recommended, guess i didn't realize what a docu-buff i am.
    I have to add that I love love love Christopher Guest's mocku-mentaries! So freakin funny.


    Since no one else has mentioned these yet, I highly recommend "The corporation", "Super-size me", PBS's New York series was incredible if you can get your hands on the tapes. and ummmm hmmmmmmm.... well i can't think of any more at the moment, darn.

    Oh wait! In some theaters right now the film "What the bleep do we know?" is playing, very nifty and interesting.

  9. #8
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    Yeah, the family dynamic in "Capturing the Friedmans" was really odd. On IMDB, most of the people who posted hated the mom since she didn't support the dad & the son & made them plead guilty. Which I totally didn't agree with. & the clown son... he did NOT seem like the clown type. Weird, weird.
    & I agree with the Christopher Guest mocu-mentaries- HILARIOUS!!!
    Thanks for all the documentary tips! I've gotta get started renting!

  10. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Morgan
    On IMDB, most of the people who posted hated the mom since she didn't support the dad & the son & made them plead guilty. Which I totally didn't agree with.
    See, yeah, wasn't that the clown son's problem with her too? But I found his comments about her to be very, very misogynistic. To me, he was absolutely the most unsympathetic person in the film. And what a difficult position for the mom to be in -- imagine having your husband accused of these terrible things you know (or hope) he didn't do, yet also knowing your husband is a pedophile and likes child porn? Especially given the sexual attitudes of her generation (wasn't her husband the only person she ever had sex with until she remarried?), how do you cope with discovering your lover is into child porn?

  11. #10
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    Exactly, Xuli! That was why I thought it was really strange that so many people blamed everything on the mom. It was an impossible situation she was in. She obviously wanted them to plead guilty first because she thought her husband taking the guilt on himself would help save her son, then because her son would have a very hard time getting a fair trial, so he was almost guarenteed a shorter sentence by plea bargaining. Imagine something like that happening in your family, though! Usch!


 
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