It was just another day for Priscilla Salyers (Kathy Baker), things were tetchy with her husband Roy (Ray Baker) as after losing the company had started to take it out on their sons and so she had headed to the office early. But being at the office lead to her being caught up in a bombing and left trapped beneath the rubble. As the emergency services set about saving the survivors there is fear that maybe another bomb whilst the instability of the building also causes problems. Whilst the emergency services set about rescuing her, Priscilla's family await news as her son Jason (Eric Johnson) heads to the hospital.
I will leave the synopsis there because "Oklahoma City: A Survivor's Story" is a much bigger movie than that and one which is surprisingly powerful, a lot more powerful than I expected. But whilst I am not going to go into detail what happens I will say that we basically get the aftermath of the bombing with Priscilla and her family dealing with her recovery and the emotions she contends when it comes to why her, whilst we witness the impact on others such as the firemen involved. And it is a comprehensive movie from Roy's feelings towards Priscilla to how Jason deals with his father bossing everyone around right down to one of Priscilla's colleagues who feels guilty as being late for work saved her life.
But as I said "Oklahoma City: A Survivor's Story" is extremely powerful and the scenes of the rescue really hit home the horrendousness of the situation. We see Priscilla helpless underneath the rubble with the rescue services trying to get her out but not only can Priscilla hear the screams of the others trapped but she can also hear the services worrying about further bombs which means they might have to leave whilst they also fear the rest of the building is unstable. It is such a well made scene that it makes the movie very real and when you add to it actual footage of the bombed building it just increases the power even for those like me who don't remember the bombing.
But "Oklahoma City: A Survivor's Story" is also a very intimate movie because it is also about a troubled family with a husband and father who has become bitter, a son who can't relate to his father and Priscilla caught in the middle as she tries to deal with the emotions of what happened. And all the actors involved deliver solid performances and even those in minor roles impress. When a fireman emotionally struggles with being called a rescuer when all he is doing is tagging dead bodies really hits home thanks to that actor's one moment to deliver the emotion of the situation.
What this all boils down to is that "Oklahoma City: A Survivor's Story" is an extremely powerful movie which I can understand why might not work for some due to its focus on the aftermath at a personal level. But as I said it is powerful and does a good job of bringing to life the horrendous situation and the aftermath of a tragedy like this. Sadly as "Oklahoma City: A Survivor's Story" is a made for TV movie it's availability is limited to when it occasionally gets aired.