ESPN'S AMBITIOUS and exhaustive documentary about O.J. Simpson and the murders of Nicole Brown and Ronald Goldman—O.J.: Made in America—is the best 30 for 30 the company has produced. It's thrilling and uncompromising, clocking in at seven hours and 43 minutes, and it will make you look at the case with fresh eyes.
Director Ezra Edelman wanted to dive deep into Simpson's rise and fall and how it reflected issues of race, the atmosphere in Los Angeles and the relationship between the police and the black community. To do so, he and his team interviewed 72 subjects, although O.J. himself—serving nine to 33 years for armed robbery and kidnapping at Nevada's Lovelock Correctional Center—Bronco driver Al Cowlings and former L.A. County district attorney Christopher Darden declined interviews.
The film does not use narration or title cards. The tale is told through interviews, intelligently sequenced and edited. The thoughts of former prosecutor Marcia Clark, defense lawyer Carl Douglas and Simpson's childhood friend Joe Bell stand out among many fascinating insights.
As for reaching a verdict? "That's not the point," says Edelman. "The most important thing was to come into it without an agenda, to let people who were part of this story, on all sides, have their say."