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.
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.