When word came that the film department of ESPN was doing a documentary on O.J. Simpson, there wasn't immediate excitement on my end. After all, what could possibly be said about O.J. Simpson that hasn't already been covered by countless newspapers, film, and Television? On the outside, this seemed like a "been there, done that" type of affair.
However, this documentary took the film world by storm and it culminated in an Oscar win for best documentary this year. Intrigued by the documentary's success, Cinema Slayer's decided to give it a watch. Let's just say we couldn't have been more wrong about this film in our initial assessment.
To say the documentary was a pleasant surprise is an understatement. Director Erza Edelman gives us an evenly presented and uncompromising look at the rise and fall of one of the country's greatest American sport icons. There are comprehensive interviews with everyone involved in Simpson's life from close personal friends and acquaintances who grew up with him, to heart-broken and defeated families of Nicole Simpson and Ron Goldman, who still hate Simpson and view him as a murderer. You'll get testimonies from members of the prosecution and the defense, all convincingly sharing their views on what was the trial of the century. You even get a perfectly painted picture of the political climate at the time, which gives a great assessment of how volatile race relations were at the time and how they played into decisions made at O.J.'s trial. The result is something that will intrigue you so much that you will not want to look away.
This documentary is almost eight hours long and it took me about three days of viewing to complete it. That may seem like a while to devote to something that you know about already, but believe me, you will be captivated by this look into O.J.'s journey. As it digs deeper and deeper into the dark doldrums of this story, you will find yourself wondering if there ever is truly a winner and a loser in a situation such as this. A tragic story indeed and a microcosm for many of the problems we deal with today, O.J. Made in America is a must see documentary. The Oscar was well deserved.
95 touchdowns out of 100 (95%)