The Armstrong Lie
Academy Award-winning documentarian Alex Gibney was suckered by Lance Armstrong's bullying charisma along with everyone else. He started filming the cyclist for his 2009 Tour de France comeback, then shelved the footage when the ever-present doping accusations returned to the fore.
Armstrong finally admitted his long-term performance enhancing drug use to the filmmakers in October 2012, so Gibney reframed the doc and shoot new footage, including the much-hyped public Oprah confession in January 2013, and asked him the decades-old question: Why?
The result is "The Armstrong Lie," a "story about power, not doping," and a fascinating two-hour dissection of the systematic dismantling of a sport, spearheaded by one individual. "I lived one big lie, not a lot of little lies," says Armstrong, wearing the same dead-eyed stare throughout. "It's different."
Raised by a single mom, Armstrong's daddy issues percolate through his positive situations -- his triumph over the testicular cancer that almost took his life (although he then equated death with failure) and his creation of the Livestrong Foundation -- then his vengeance against those who spoke out about doping in cycling. One said that "his urge to dominate brought him down."
This "cycling superman" rode a wave of fan, sponsor and journalist adoration, and he would have missed the rampant busts by the anti-doping agencies after his 2005 retirement, but his ego wouldn't let him because he "loved the beautiful lie versus the ugly truth." So he reignited the culture of omertà, the code of silence, but ended up being stripped of his seven winning yellow jerseys (although, always the asshole, he tweeted a photo with them, framed on his wall, on the defrocking day).
Blu-ray extras include director commentary, a Q&A and deleted scenes. Gibney's truth should set the record straight on this perpetration, and it's important to watch because "sometimes you have to tell your kids that Santa Claus isn't real."
"The Armstrong Lie"