Year: 2016 Director: Ezra Edelman
This 8 hour examination of OJ Simpson – college football star, supreme athlete, hero, star, icon, killer, wife beater, narcissist, psychopath, liar and fool is not only a great documentary but a stunning piece of investigative journalism.
I first heard the name OJ Simpson when UK news showed footage of this slow police chase through LA and then told he was that guy with the tiny role in The Naked Gun. I did not know before watching this film (split into five 95 minute chunks for US TV) why he was so loved by the American public, of his sporting prowess and the easy going charm he had. This film helped fill in those blanks but also put him in the context of the times he was living through. Rather than support fellow athletes around the time of the infamous black power salute at the 68 Olympics he insisted “I’m not black, I’m OJ” with only a few miles but a whole cultural experience separating him from the Watts riots. He wanted to be a Muhammed Ali figure, someone who transcended sport and his colour.
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