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O.J.: Made in America Paints a Complex Picture of a Sports Icon-Turned-Pariah

ESPN’s five-part documentary examines race, Los Angeles and the famous pro-football celebrity-turned-convict.

Even if you were one of the millions who watched the white-Bronco chase live and followed the subsequent murder trial, or got hooked on The People v. O.J. Simpson, FX’s recent dramatized account of the behind-the-scenes ego-tripping of the legal “Dream Team,” you will be enlightened, fascinated and heartbroken by O.J.: Made in America, ESPN’s spellbinding five-part documentary series premiering in select theaters in New York and Los Angeles this weekend.

Ambitious and exhaustive, the meticulously crafted (and perfectly paced) tour de force is the deepest, darkest dive into the rise and astounding fall of Orenthal James Simpson.

The 7.5-hour work, directed by Emmy winner Ezra Edelman (remember his name), combines rare and never-before-seen footage—including, for the first time, the harrowing crime scene photos from Bundy Drive—with O.J. Simpson’s own voice unearthed from vintage interviews, and sound bites from a diverse range of over 70 interview subjects, many of whom have never spoken before.

Some of the interviewees are as eccentric as a Hollywood novel—the now openly transgender news helicopter pilot who was the first to spot the Bronco on the freeway, O.J. devotees, eye-rolling jurors, shady sports-memorabilia dealers involved in the Las Vegas caper that landed O.J. in jail, and, of course, the familiar faces of both legal teams (minus Chris Darden and Robert Shapiro).

 

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