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The Armstrong Lie

A documentary looks at the checkered career of cyclist Lance Armstrong



A couple of years ago, seven-time Tour de France champ Lance Armstrong and documentarian Alex Gibney teamed up to film what they hoped would be Armstrong's victory lap: winning the grueling, multi-day bike race in 2009 while consistently testing clean for performance-enhancers, thereby silencing the growing chorus of critics who suspected him of doping. Two immediate questions: Why would the presumably clear-eyed Gibney get swept up in the Armstrong myth-making machine, and why would Armstrong, who knew he was dirty, throw in with an award-winning muckraker like Gibney (Enron, WikiLeaks)?

Both those questions get answered in Gibney's film, which offers: a précis of Armstrong's career; plenty of armchair psychology about who the cyclist was and what he meant to fans and detractors; and still more explanations and apologies from Armstrong. It's fascinating on all accounts, with plenty of blame to go around.

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