Combustible Celluloid
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With: Marcia Clark, Peter Hyams, Walter Mosley, Bill Hodgman, Gil Garcetti, Carl Douglas, F. Lee Bailey, Barry Scheck, Mark Fuhrman, Sylvester Monroe, Ron Shipp, Joe Bell, Mike Gilbert, Yolanda Crawford, Carrie Bess, Fred Goldman
Written by: n/a
Directed by: Ezra Edelman
MPAA Rating: NR
Running Time: 467
Date: 05/20/2016

O.J.: Made in America (2016)

4 Stars (out of 4)

Glove Story

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

When this first showed up in the mail, I admit I scoffed. Why would I want to watch this circus again? But damned if this 7-3/4 hour documentary about O.J. Simpson doesn't emerge not only as a great movie about racism and celebrity, but also an essential epic about America. It also happens to be one of the best movies of the year. Filmmaker Ezra Edelman seems to have had unlimited access to all things O.J. Simpson, including documents, photos, audio, and footage of his remarkable football career, his relationships, the murder trial, and the aftermath. He patiently unfolds the man's life story, getting into all the nooks and crannies. He explores how Simpson's success was based on how he deliberately avoided identifying with the African-American community. Then, when the infamous trial turned out to be about race, everything was turned on its side. When the trial was in the news, it just made your head spin, but here, with new commentary from many of the players, its tragic depth begins to unfold. It begins to unpack the idea that race is not about identity, but about perception, and it can be spun and reflected and refracted in any number of ways, to suit either side. We have a long way to go, but this film is an indispensable part of the discourse. O.J.: Made in America was submitted as both a television documentary and a theatrical documentary, so it's now being considered for top ten lists and awards from both communities, much to the chagrin of purists.

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