director Ezra Edelman
Ezra Edelman’s O.J.: Made in America is a serious magnum opus, and Edelman expands the view around O.J. Simpson and the infamous murder and even more infamous trial placing the story concretely in Los Angeles and in the complex context of race and racism in America.
For those of us who lived through much of this story, we all have our own perceptions and memories of the star athlete turned actor and that insane trial. It’s very telling to revisit this material through Edelman’s lens, expanding the view, by covering the California into which Simpson was born and by the many commentators who add their own experience and context to it all. There is so much going on here, and Edelman actively engages in the complexity of Simpson the man, Simpson the incredibly popular star and his image in the eyes of whites and blacks, refracting his own lightness and darkness from different vantages.
There is too much to dig into here, so I won’t try. I thought this film was excellent, well-crafted, deeply interesting and edifying, leaving me so much to consider and contemplate.
Those crime scene photos. Unbelievably gruesome.
There are multiple tragedies herein. And as the bizarre final segment of the film (parsed into 5 episodes for television) unfolds, a justice is meted out, but is meted out in a further cruel truth. Simpson is in prison now, perhaps for life, but not for his most heinous crime, his punishment a vengeful racist righting of wrongs, wronging only further.