Tag Archives: america

O.J.: MADE IN AMERICA (2016) – My rating: 9/10

ojmadeinamericaThrough interviews, new footage, and archival audio and video, O.J.: Made in America traces the life and career of O. J. Simpson, starting with his arrival at the University of Southern California as an emerging football superstar and ending with his incarceration in 2007 for robbery. Throughout the documentary, Simpson’s life – the football success, television career, relationship with Nicole Brown, the domestic abuse, Nicole and Ron Goldman’s murder, the trial – runs parallel to the larger narrative of the city of Los Angeles, which serves as host to mounting racial tensions and a volatile relationship between the city’s police department and the African American community.

TV critic James Poniewozik described the director’s technique in his New York Times review: “Ezra Edelman pulls back, way back, like a news chopper over a freeway chase. Before you hear about the trial, the documentary says, you need to hear all the stories — the stories of race, celebrity, sports, America — that it’s a part of.”

O.J.: Made in America premiered at the Sundance Film Festival on January 22, 2016, was released in theaters in New York City and Los Angeles in May 2016 and debuted on ABC on June 11, 2016, and aired on ESPN. The documentary has received widespread acclaim and has won numerous awards.

After seeing this documentary, I was impressed at how factual and straightforward it was.  I thought I knew everything about OJ, this gave me a new perspective and something to think about.  O.J.: Made in America is an excellent source of information into the whole picture from beginning to end, so if you care to know as much as you could about the life and times of O. J. Simpson, this is a great documentary to learn about him and all that went into shaping who he is.  O.J.: Made in America is currently streaming on Amazon, and can be gotten on Netflix.

[O.J.: Made in America WON the 89th ANNUAL OSCAR AWARD for Best Documentary Feature]


13TH (2016) – My rating: 9.5/10

13thMy reaction to this Netflix Original documentary is simply WOW!  For a Black person, it’s truly depressing but it’s history and it is what it is. This is the kind of information everyone should know. Maybe it can make some kind of a difference regarding the race issues in America. No matter what character or category of person you might fall into, criminal, bad  or compassionate, I don’t see how anyone could go along with the stinking thinking outlined in this film.  13th is titled after the Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, which outlawed slavery (unless as punishment for a crime). DuVernay’s,  documentary opens with the idea that 25 percent of the people in the world, who are incarcerated, are incarcerated in the United States and argues that slavery is being effectively perpetuated in the US through mass incarceration. 13th features several prominent activists, politicians, and public figures such as, Angela Davis, Bryan Stevenson, Van Jones, Newt Gingrich, Cory Booker, Henry Louis Gates Jr. and many others.  It’s been said that one of the most compelling defenses behind this documentary is that it’s not opinionated or accusatory, it only presents the facts that are non disputable.  Racism, Slavery, the 13th Amendment, Jim Crow, ALEC, Republicans, The South, Political Leaders and Organizations, Militants,  Murder and The Privatization of the Prison System are all featured.  13th has garnered acclaim from film critics everywhere, as a major historian contribution that should not be ignored.

13th is directed by Ava DuVernay who also wrote and produced it along with Spencer Averick.  Living with and and knowing a lot of the facts in 13th didn’t make it any less disturbing to see put together in 13th.  I feel the issue of racism will never be resolved.  It’s bigger than anything we face and it’s truly a problem that’s eventually going to be our demise.  See it for yourself and form your own opinion.  13th is currently streaming on Netflix.

[13th is nominated for Best Documentary Feature]


BROOKLYN (2015) – My rating: 8/10


Brooklyn is the touching story of an Irish family, in 1952 that lives in Enniscorthy, Ireland.  Eilis (pronounced AY-lish) Lacey, (Saoirse Ronan) is one of two young girls who lives with, their now single mother, Mrs. Lacey (Jane Brennan) because their father has passed away.  Eilis works weekends at a shop run by an extremely spiteful woman named Miss Kelly, (Bríd Brennan) while Eilis’ sister, Rose Lacey (Fiona Glascott) works as a bookkeeper.  Rose has always taken care of Eilis as well as looked after their mother.  Wanting the best for her sister, Rose arranges for Eilis to go to America as part of an exchange program through their church in Ireland and Father Flood, (Jim Broadbent) an American priest in Brooklyn.

Upon her arrival in America, Eilis would live in a Brooklyn boarding house with other female Irish immigrants and work at a prestigious department store as she learned the ways of the world and perhaps meet someone to eventually share her life with.  The boarding house was strictly run by Madge Kehoe (Julia Walters) who made sure all the girls walked the straight and narrow.  The two sisters would write each other frequently and share all the information about their lives they could.  Life was somewhat boring in their small town of Enniscorthy and only slightly escalated in America until Eilis met an Italian suitor named Tony Fiorello (Emory Cohen).  Everything about her changed for the better and this is where I stop.  There’s not that much more to tell except that this story was told in such a way that it took the ordinary and made it tender, sweet, exciting and a sort of learning experience for all.  Brooklyn is a little slow but still interesting.  Added, was a little drama and a little mystery since we didn’t know how things would end up.  A few surprises kept you just interested enough to stick with it.

[BROOKLYN is nominated for Best Picture, Best Actress and Adapted Screenplay]