Winner 2017

Oklahoma City

American Experience Films, WGBH Educational Foundation

Nominally, “Oklahoma City” tells the story of Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols’ April 19, 1995 bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, a terrorist attack that killed 168 people and injured 675 more. But director Barak Goodman skillfully shows us that to understand this event, we must also recognize it as part of a progression from the 1992 and 1993 standoffs at Ruby Ridge and Waco, respectively. Consequently, this masterful documentary reconstructs the tale not just of a single isolated attack, but of the rise of white militancy and anti-government hatred. Goodman’s interviews are superb, bringing these three events to life with subtle yet important details, while also sharply contextualizing the ideologies and hostilities that remain a threat to our country. One can see a direct connection between Oklahoma City 1995 and Charlottesville 2017. The film is a painstaking work of history told not only to make sense of the motives behind the worst act of domestic terrorism in American history, but also to help viewers understand the reinvigorated white supremacist voice that finds a sympathetic platform today. For this, “Oklahoma City” receives a Peabody Award.


Executive Producer: Mark Samels. Senior Producer: Susan Bellows. Producers: Barak Goodman, Emily Singer Chapman. Writer: Barak Goodman. Director: Barak Goodman. Editor: Don Kleszy. Director of Photography: Stephen McCarthy. Music: David Cieri.