The O.J. Verdict
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press reaction

Rick Kushman The Sacramento Bee

"…PBS's always excellent Frontline takes a smart, concise and, ultimately, sobering look at the trial and its aftermath, and what it told us about America."

 

Glenn Garvin The Miami Herald

"Ofra Bikel …is a skillful interviewer, and her documentation of the racial divide over the case is thorough, eloquent and even amusing…"

 

David Bianculli Daily News [New York]

"Bikel's reports for Frontline usually result in a person thought guilty being set free. This time, that work already was done -- but "The O.J. Verdict," like the verdict itself, raises inescapable and troubling questions about race, perception and fairness."

 

Tom Dorsey The Courier-Journal

"So why revisit a case that was so well-publicized and analyzed? Because a decade gives us new and important perspectives, as Frontline shows … Much of this intelligent, thoughtful and interesting retrospective looks at how the case once again exposed the underbelly of racism in the country."

 

Alex Strachan Ottawa Citizen

"… a reasoned, clear-eyed look at what happened and, more importantly, why. Frontline filmmaker Ofra Bikel's portrait of L.A. law and the American justice system at work is required viewing for anyone interested in how the American news media covers a story rooted in celebrity, sex, race and murder."

 

Andrew Ryan The Globe and Mail

"… a brilliant recap. … The film provides the tidiest chronicle to date of the entire O.J. saga … "

 

Roger Caitlin The Hartford Courant

"It's a little disappointing to find the esteemed Frontline spending its season premiere on the O.J. Simpson case. … Bikel's report, though, goes beyond retelling the usual details and examines what she said New Yorker writer Jeffrey Toobin coined 'the race card.'

…Ten years later, the trial is still a divisive issue in the country. Frontline demonstrates that the case remains compelling for what it tells us about the racial divide."

 

Sam Allis The Boston Globe

"…the show explores what we've tried to forget and frames race where it should be -- front and center. …

While Bikel fields a strong roster of talking heads, both black and white, she more fully illuminates African-American emotion and thought on the subject than she does the white perspective. Fine. Most whites have yet to hear the black version, however troubling, articulately presented in the relative calm of a 10-year hiatus."

 

Verne Gay Newsday

"…'The O.J. Verdict' does appear, at first, to be an exercise in the obvious -- the view from 30,000 feet, 10 years later, with all the familiar landmarks laid out neatly and predictably below us. … Somewhere around midpoint in the broadcast, she descends from 30,000 feet to ground level, and this fresh perspective confirms that the verdict remains a festering and lightly bandaged wound."

 

Ted Mahar The Oregonian

"…Bikel has several empty spots in her fascinating -- indeed agitating -- documentary. One of these is the lack of comment by any juror. If none would talk to her, she should mention that. Otherwise, we should have heard from at least one."

 

Dusty Saunders Rocky Mountain News

"… Predictably, this is anything but a salacious, tabloid-type report. In its inimitable style Frontline re-examines the impact the trial and the verdict had 10 years ago and contrasts that with the mood of the country today. The trial and the verdict divided the country then, and as Frontline illustrates, the profound division the trial explored remain today."

 

Ned Martel The New York Times

"… adds something new to the typical recaps that will occur this week, with many replays of shocked white faces and jubilant black ones, recorded when the verdict was announced. Various experts take turns saying why no one should have been surprised by the verdict. By the end, the narration verges toward the preachy, when the program could have gone on to explain how the verdict inspired today's overtly pro-prosecutorial coverage of the splashy trials all over the cable dial."

 

Tom Jicha South Florida Sun-Sentinel

… the value of the show is the Monday morning quarterbacking, which offers insights into why the outcome shouldn't have been surprising at all."

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posted oct. 4, 2005

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