The Armstrong Lie
About IDFA
The Armstrong Lie
IDFA 2013

The Armstrong Lie

Alex Gibney
United States
122 min
Dutch Premiere
Festival history
In 2008, director Alex Gibney started filming Lance Armstrong's comeback attempt at the 2009 Tour de France. "We wouldn't be sitting here if I hadn't come back," Armstrong said in his 2013 TV interview with Oprah Winfrey, in which he finally admitted his systematic use of performance-enhancing drugs. The same year, Gibney edited together an exhaustive report on the period during which Armstrong lost not only his record number of Tour victories (seven, 1999-2005), but also – having for years maintained that as a cancer survivor he would never use such drugs – his position as chair of the Lance Armstrong Foundation for cancer victims. Supported by tense music, the documentary (which takes its title from a headline in the French sports paper , "Le mensonge Armstrong") shows how the charismatic Armstrong kept everyone around him in line for years, and attacked when he needed to. "You're not worth the chair you're sitting on," he snarled in 2009 at Paul Kimmage, a journalist who doggedly investigated his doping use. Gibney reveals that doping doctor Michele Ferrari continued to give Armstrong "advice" even after their contact had been officially ended, and shows how a tour bus stopped among the crowds watching the Tour, allegedly with a breakdown, but in reality to give the Armstrong team a blood transfusion.
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    Universal Pictures International
    Universal Pictures International