Release Date: June 11, 2016
Director: Ezra Edelman
Duration: 5 episodes about 1.5 hrs each
My Rating: 8/10
Overview: On June 12, 1994 a woman and her male friend were brutally slaughtered. This woman was a daughter, a mother, a sister, a friend, and a wife. She feared her life was in danger and suffered several bouts of domestic abuse at the hands of her famous husband.
Her husband, a former NFL superstar, was eventually acquitted of the crime despite the overwhelming evidence against him.
What I loved: OJ: Made in America is one of the greatest and most disturbing documentaries I have ever seen. I was only 4 years old when Nicole was murdered, so most of this was new to me. Sure, I knew some things especially being from Buffalo where OJ played for some time, but I now have a more thorough understanding of the entire saga.
The documentary paints a genuine picture of not only OJ's upbringing, but the society in which he bloomed into a celebrity. OJ grasped his power by impressing the white population and abandoning his true heritage during one of the most violent clashes between blacks and whites in American history. OJ shares his peak of prominence with the times of conflict in Los Angeles including the Rodney King beating and other LAPD injustices.
OJ was so obsessed with becoming famous, he would do whatever it took to come out on top. He'd rub shoulders with whomever had the power, in hopes it would rub off onto him.
It was interesting to see how OJ spent years trying to distance himself from the African American community, yet his defense team used the race card to successfully acquit him, even though he did not identify as African American. Johnnie Cochran tried to make the black community empathize and support OJ even though he essentially wanted nothing to do with them.
"I'm not black, I'm OJ."
There are copious amounts of old footage shown including OJ in college and his rise to power in the sporting and entertainment world. There's footage of riots, racial tensions, news clips, and so much more. It's one thing to hear someone speak about the past, but to actually see old clips really bumped up the authenticity of the documentary. You not only learn about OJ, but the entire culture and society of the time.
It was extremely interesting to hear from OJ's closest friends, colleagues and his legal team. Some, I wanted to reach through the TV and strangle, and others painted a realistic picture of who OJ truly is, which is a man who mastered the art of manipulation.
I was impressed by the courtroom footage from the trial. It was very interesting to see both the defense and prosecution at work. It was this footage that also further opened my eyes to the flaws of our Justice System. I cannot believe jurors failed to remain impartial and used the verdict as a means for "revenge" against racism.
However, I can't describe how sweet it is to see OJ's past finally catch up with him years after the acquittal... Better late than never.
After watching OJ: Made in America it is very clear to see that a violent killer was set free because of racism in America. It's clear his defense team manipulated the jury and America, and used extremely unscrupulous practices all in the name of "winning". It's clear Nicole will never truly have justice because America put her life below the life of a celebrity who only cared about himself.
It's clear that after watching OJ: Made in America, I will never be the same again.
RIP Nicole Brown
What I didn't: This documentary was magnificently done, however, there are a LOT of missing pieces to the puzzle. There could have been a few more episodes in my opinion to fill in the cracks of what was left out. For example, the doc totally skipped over OJ's separation and divorce from his first wife. There was also very little mention of his retirement from football. There were over 100 witnesses who testified during the trial, yet only a few clips of a select few were shown. We also don't hear from any of OJ's children, not even a disclaimer relaying they had declined to participate.
I really struggled to come up with a suitable rating for this documentary because what was captured in the documentary was so well done, but there were so many missing pieces of information.
There are several graphic scenes presented including the video of Rodney King being beaten, pictures from the crime scene, and more. Viewer discretion is highly advised.
After finishing the documentary, I had a truly horrible feeling in my gut which I don't believe will ever go away.