Two years ago, a first-time filmmaker named Andrew Jarecki paid a visit to the Concord, Massachusetts, home of a man who might draw him a road map to his future. Jarecki arrived at the house, belonging to a Pulitzer Prize-winning child psychiatrist, after already traveling a circuitous route and taking an unimaginable detour. In 2000, Jarecki was in the middle of making a whimsical film about a beloved New York City clown, real name David Friedman, who entertains at children's parties when the director discovered the clown had a tragic secret. At first, the clown dropped only tantalizing hints, telling the filmmaker that his mother was insane, that Jarecki couldn't talk to her, that he was a smart guy who could figure out what he was talking about. The clown was angry, and Jarecki wanted to know why. He would find out in short order: The clown's father had been arrested and imprisoned on charges of possession of kiddie porn and of molesting dozens of young boys, while the clown's youngest brother had been sentenced to 18 years in prison for related sexual-assault crimes. The case had been big news in the New York suburb in which the family once lived. It also smashed the family to dust and scattered... More >>>
The Friedmans, captured before the kill: Andrew Jarecki's documentary about the dissolution of a real family is a heartbreaking masterpiece.