'O.J. Simpson: Made in America' takes home Best Documentary at 2017 Oscars
Yup, ESPN just won an Oscar.
Twenty-two years after O.J. Simpson was acquitted in the murders of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman, the former NFL star was back in the spotlight on Sunday at the Academy Awards.
Well, technically, it wasn’t Simpson who was in the spotlight, it was Ezra Edelman. Edelman’s film about the Hall of Fame running back, O.J. Simpson: Made in America, won the Oscar for best documentary during the 89th Academy Awards, which Jimmy Kimmel hosted from the Dolby Theater in Los Angeles.
Although the documentary was originally created for television, ESPN was so proud of the film that the network released it in theaters for a week in May 2016 so that it could qualify to win an Academy Award.
Putting it in a theater wasn’t easy, either.
At 467 minutes, the monstrous five-part documentary is actually the longest film ever to win an Academy Award. According to the Los Angeles Times, that running time surpassed the length of War and Peace, which won the best foreign language film Oscar in 1969 with a running time of 431 minutes.
The length of the film meant that it could only run twice a day during it’s short stay in theaters.
After accepting the Oscar, Edelman dedicated the award to everyone who has suffered criminal injustice.
“[This win] is also for others, the victims of police violence, police brutality, racially motivated violence and criminal injustice,” Edelman said, via Deadline.com. “This is their story as well as Ron and Nicole’s. I am honored to accept this award on all of their behalfs.”
If you haven’t had a chance to see the documentary, which features 72 new interviews and rarely seen archival footage, all five parts are available to stream if you have access to WatchESPN through your cable provider. A DVD of the documentary is also available.
The documentary begins with Simpson’s career at USC and then follows his life through his October 1995 acquittal in the deaths of Goldman and Brown Simpson. The film also touches on his 2008 arrest, which led to 10 felony convictions for which Simpson is still in prison.
The O.J. documentary won the Oscar over four other nominees: 13th, Fire at Sea, Life, Animated and I Am Not Your Negro.
As for Simpson, it’s not clear if he has seen the documentary, but he might have a chance to later on this year. Simpson, 69, is up for parole in October, and.
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