The Friedmans were an every-day Long Island family until, in 1987, father Arnold and one of his three sons became subject to child pornography and molestation charges. Mixing home video and original footage, the documentary sheds light on the police investigation as well as the home dynamics of the family.
The Friedman family lived in suburban Great Neck, on New York\'s Long Island. Arnold was a cheerful husband and father, close to his wife, Elaine, and his three sons, David, Seth and Jesse. Arnold was an apparently well-liked and affable schoolteacher, who, outside school hours, taught piano and computer skills in the basement of his house. Over the years, the Friedmans recorded their lives, first on film, later on video; they seem like an ordinary, happy, middle-class Jewish family. All that changed one day in 1987, when the police were alerted to the fact that Arnold was buying child pornography by mail. Stashes of pornographic material were discovered in the house, and Arnold\'s students were questioned. Some of them eventually claimed to have been molested not only by Arnold but also by the teenaged Jesse. This exceptional documentary is distinguished by its complexity. Director Andrew Jarecki has made a deliberately ambiguous film, and that\'s why it\'s so riveting. Were Arnold and Jesse really guilty of the crimes they so strenuously deny? Was the police investigation badly flawed? Was the trial by media so intense that public opinion was distorted? What is really the truth? It\'s an