OJ: MADE IN AMERICA
(2016) Directed by Ezra Edelman
There’s no doubt this epic retelling of the life and times of OJ Simpson is a milestone of documentary making. Dozens of interviews with all major players (except the headline star, who—spoiler alert—has just been granted parole), terrific work in the archives and admirable commitment to telling the most even-handed story possible. But to those whose knowledge of OJ runs to: “former NFL player acquitted of killing his wife and also in The Naked Gun”, the film is a revelation. Just some of the highlights: his relationship with the Black Power movement; his pioneering drive to turn sporting fame into mainstream, high-earning celebrity; his astonishing self-belief; his murder trial shifting from OJ versus The Man, to Black versus White in America; how the book If I Did It, his “hypothetical” account of the murder of his wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ron Goldman ended up being published by Goldman’s father. And, in the frank, fearless, animated defence attorney Carl Douglas, you have the most magnificent talking-head in all of documentary.