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Documentary powerhouse Alex Gibney‘s latest film began as a straightforward portrait of an American sports hero. What it became was something else entirely.
VIDEO: Alex Gibney Reveals the Details of Lance Armstrong’s Personal Apology
Now the first trailer for The Armstrong Lie is out. Originally titled The Road Back, production on the film began in 2009, during which Gibney followed Lance Armstrong as the cyclist plotted a triumphant Tour de France comeback after his massively publicized battle with cancer.
As Gibney’s cameras rolled, teammates such as Floyd Landis and Tyler Hamilton started speaking out against Armstrong, and a federal investigation ensued, after which Armstrong’s web of lies quickly began to unravel.
VENICE REVIEW: The Armstrong Lie
“The reason I put myself in the film is because I realized at some point that I had been a cog in a great PR machine,” Gibney told The Hollywood Reporter at the Toronto Film Festival, where the film debuted. “I was part of a con. I had to go back and reexamine my own role. And that, I think, makes this film different from some of the stuff I had done before.”
STORY: Alex Gibney’s Lance Armstrong Doc Nabbed by Sony Pictures Classics
Gibney says he got a phone call from Armstrong six weeks prior to his landmark confession with Oprah Winfrey in which the cyclist, stripped of his seven Tour de France victories, admitted to the filmmaker for the first time to doping throughout his career. “He apologized to me for having lied to me. And we began to discuss him sitting down again to make things right,” Gibney said. This film is the result of that conversation.
Sony Pictures Classics begins rolling out The Armstrong Lie in limited release starting Nov. 8, 2013.
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