O.J.: Made in America (ESPN)
2016 | ESPN Films and Laylow Films
O.J.: Made in America takes a story we all think we know—the rise and fall of Orenthal James Simpson—and adds successive layers of context and depth until ultimately it becomes a masterful examination of American culture, race, celebrity, masculinity, and criminality. Meticulously tracing O.J.‘s journey from the San Francisco projects to the gridiron to the highest echelons of fame and eventually to a Nevada prison, Ezra Edelman’s epic eight-hour documentary probes deeply into Simpson’s personality and his desire and ability to transcend his blackness to become a glamorous celebrity with all of the privileges the position provides. Testimonials from people close to Simpson—from childhood friends and teammates to family and business associates—paint a rich and textured picture of the charismatic athlete and media figure. Police who investigated the brutal slayings of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman, and attorneys from both the prosecution and Simpson’s “Dream Team” defense then offer further insight into the investigation, the trial, and the public circus it created. Perhaps the most profound aspect of this masterful documentary is the realization that the story isn’t just about O.J.—it’s about all of us. The documentary’s achievements are phenomenal, taking one of the most divisive criminal cases and figures in American history and showing what a verdict of guilt or innocence—both on the case and on O.J.‘s life—represented, and why the case and the man mattered to so many people. For this, O.J. Simpson: Made in America receives a Peabody Award.
Creator: ESPN Films. Executive Producers: Connor Schell, Libby Geist. Producers: Ezra Edelman, Caroline Waterlow, Tamara Rosenberg, Nina Krstic, Connor Schell, Libby Geist, Erin Leyden, Deirdre Fenton. Director: Ezra Edelman. Director of Photography: Nick Higgins. Editors: Bret Granato, Maya Mumma, Ben Sozanski. Composer: Gary Lionelli.
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