EXCLUSIVE: Director David Gordon didn’t know much about Oscar Pistorius’ 2013 trial but admitted it only took a few days of research to understand how “layered” and “complicated” his story is.
ESPN+ is set to air a four-part “30 for 30” documentary series titled “The Life and Trials of Oscar Pistorius,” which details the former South African sprinter‘s rise to notoriety after competing in the 2012 London Olympics despite having two prosthetic legs.
It also covers Pistorius’ ultimate downfall after he was convicted of murdering his model girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp in February 2013. The 33-year-old is currently serving a 15-year prison sentence and will be eligible for parole in 2023.
“I think [the ability] to remain impartial is something that I’ve done throughout all my films. I didn’t come … with any particular preconceived ideas. I didn’t follow the trial particularly,” Gordon told Fox News.
Gordon believes he tells a fair story with 65 people in the series commenting on various events. “There was another 55 we interviewed but didn’t make it into the final cut,” he said.
“I think the biggest challenge was trying to find out who Oscar was,” Gordon said. “He had an awful lot happen to him at a very young age. He went through the trauma, obviously, of having both his legs amputated. What makes this a spectacular story is that before Valentine’s Day 2013, [Oscar] had an amazing story, but the thing that everyone loves is the downfall, the total fall from grace.”
And as Gordon points out, only “[Oscar] knows exactly what happened that night. And if you believe his version that he clearly made the most dreadful, tragic error, then, of course, he is deserving of sympathy, if that’s what you want to give to him. I think that’s all a very personal view.”
Pistorius claimed that he mistook Steenkamp for a burglar and shot her, while prosecutors argued that it was premeditated. He shot her four times with his 9mm pistol through a closed toilet cubicle door.
The filmmaker says the project doesn’t lead the audience in one way or another. “I think it really depends on what your viewpoint on humanity is,” Gordon said.
But he guarantees that “you’ll change your mind throughout.”
“The Life and Trials of Oscar Pistorius” premieres Sunday on ESPN+.
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