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‘The Armstrong Lie’ Seeks to Understand Why

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In 2009, Alex Gibney followed Lance Armstrong to France to make a film about his triumphant return to professional cycling. It was an act of great naivete, an especially interesting move for a director who has already made more than one film about mendacity. How is it that the man who documented the scandal and corruption around Enron, Jack Abramoff and the Catholic Church was taken in by an athlete? The Armstrong Lie is, in a sense, his way of addressing his own blindness. Gibney wants to understand how so many were fooled by the outright lies of the cyclist for so many years, in spite of the growing mountain of allegations against him. He wants to understand why he himself believed the lies.

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