films seen
average score
Alive and kicking


Capturing the Friedmans

2003 / 107m - USA
Capturing the Friedmans poster

I wouldn't be surprised if this documentary was used as a template for the current true crime hype. Though Capturing the Friedmans seems less interested in finding out the truth than looking at the different ways that truth gets distorted, the build-up, subjectivity and use of different perspectives feels very current.

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That some pretty shady things went on in the Friedman family seems obvious, but the trial by media, the mass hysteria and overall incompetence of justice and law make it impossible to uncover the factual truth. This distortion of reality only amplifies the misery, which is obvious from the testimonies of the Friedmans.

The only problem is that the documentary's trial by media warning seems to have had little effect, not to mention that nowadays better illustrations can be found almost on a monthly basis. Because the message of the doc is too obvious and the impact turned out be so minimal, it kinda makes you wonder whether there's a real point to these films.

The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst

2015 / 279m - USA
Documentary, Crime
The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst poster

A pretty average true crime documentary series. Not quite sure why this is considered to be one of the best around, then again I'm not that big on true crime to begin with. These documentaries never feel very genuine, it's almost like seeing the gutter press trying to do a police investigation.

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Robert Durst is a bit of an oddball, which I guess is the documentary's main selling point. His proximity to several unsolved murder cases makes him a pretty suspicious person, his disinterested and sullen demeanor don't make him any more likeable. Eager to finally tell his side of the story, Durst agrees to sit down for an interview with Jarecki.

Each episode tackles a different period in Durst's life. It's the usual mix of interviews, accusations, excuses and legal magic you'll find in every other true crime doc, which the added bonus of a big revelation at the end of the series. The first five episodes are way too slow, the final one feels too much like Hollywood and the lacking conclusion makes you wonder whether they shouldn't have waited another couple years to release this film. Not that great.