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Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief

   2015    Culture
A deconstruction of the Church of Scientology's claims through a combination of presenting a condensed history of Scientology and its founder, L. Ron Hubbard, how celebrities interact with the church, the stories of a number of ex-members, and the abuse and exploitation the ex-members described seeing and experiencing". The Church responded vehemently to the film, complaining to film critics about their reviews and denouncing the filmmakers and their interviewees. Directed by Alex Gibney, it is based on Lawrence Wright's book Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood and the Prison of Belief (2013). Produced by HBO, the film premiered at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival

The Armstrong Lie

   2013    Culture
Academy Award-winning director Alex Gibney (Taxi to the Dark Side) masterfully explores the fall of the disgraced cycling champion following the 2009 Tour de France, making use of his extraordinary access to attain rare interviews with former teammates, alleged doping mastermind Dr. Michele Ferrari, and Armstrong himself. What was Lance Armstrong thinking? For years, after seizing international fame as the cancer survivor who won seven Tour de France titles, he fiercely denied accusations that he used performance-enhancing drugs. He used his power to aggressively litigate journalists and publicly humiliate former friends who claimed otherwise. His deceit finally cracked in January 2013, when he admitted guilt to Oprah Winfrey in a television interview that critics decried for only scratching the surface. Academy Award-winning director Alex Gibney approaches Armstrong with unique and extraordinary access. In 2009, Gibney was commissioned to make a film about Armstrong's return to the Tour de France, four years after the racing champion had declared retirement. That race would later stir up devastating evidence in the case against Armstrong. But Gibney came away from the experience unable to reconcile the discrepancy between doping allegations and Armstrong's emphatic denials. Then, post-Oprah, Gibney went back to Armstrong for new interviews to extract a more detailed account of his double life. In The Armstrong Lie, Gibney masterfully explores the complexities of the case, interweaving the dramatic action of the 2009 Tour de France, when Armstrong found himself unexpectedly competing against his own teammate Alberto Contador. Gibney attains rare interviews with Armstrong's former teammates and alleged doping mastermind Dr. Michele Ferrari. The film also raises troubling questions about the process of doping regulation. Recently, when asked to give advice to documentary filmmakers, Gibney responded with a motto exemplified by this film: "Embrace contradictions."

Steve Jobs Man in the Machine

   2015    History
Directed by Alex Gibney, it follows the life and work of ex-Apple CEO Steve Jobs. Gibney starts the doc by showing how much people around the world worship Steve Jobs as if he were an idol. He then provides you with a wealth of background information about Jobs' childhood, teenage and college years including how he formed Apple Inc. Fortunately, not all of the doc is hagiography because Gibney does briefly delve into the darker side of Jobs, particularly how selfish he was and mistreated those around him including his ex-wife. Jobs comes across as a charming, intelligent narcissist who knows how to captivate an audience whenever he speaks. In other words, like all great narcissists, he's a very good actor. Gibney certainly knows how to choose the right subject because Jobs' complexity makes him all the more captivating and worthy of a feature-length film. As is usually the case with Gibney's docs, this one is slickly-edited and has just the right amount of comic relief, mostly in the brief video of an young boy joyfully lists all of Apple's technological devices that Steve Jobs created. You'll catch a glimpse of what makes Jobs fallible, and find a little mildly provocative food for thought about the advancement of modern technology, i.e. how technology helps to connect us to one another yet alienates us at the same time.

We Steal Secrets: The Story of WikiLeaks

   2013    Culture
In 2006, an Iceland-based outfit called The Sunshine Press launched the website WikiLeaks.org. As run by Australian Internet activist Julian Assange, the site's mandate involved regularly publishing top-secret documents and covert information, often regarding governments and their respective military operations". As might be expected, this set off a firestorm between those who admired the organization's bravado and resourcefulness, and those who argued, not unjustly, that the dissemination of data regarding such events as the U.S. war in Afghanistan could put untold numbers of lives at risk. In We Steal Secrets, Gibney relays the story of the WikiLeaks website from the inside, and moves beyond black and white to penetrate a complex network of activity guided by courage and idealism but also allegedly guilty of ethical insensitivity and hypocrisy. Acclaimed documentarian Alex Gibney (Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room) takes the reins for this no-holds-barred look at one of the most unusual phenomena of early 21st century media.

Hard Nox

   2018    Culture
This series documents various stories about exposing the greed and crime spreading through the global economy. Filmmaker Alex Gibney tells stories of corporate corruption, securities fraud and creative accounting.
In the first episode, Gibney reveals shocking new details about Volkswagen's corporate deceit, and exposes the unholy alliance between governments and automakers that allowed the automaker to put tens of thousands of lives at risk - all for the sake of a $500 part.
Series: Dirty Money
Universe
Universe

   2021    Science
The Last Dance
The Last Dance

   2020    Culture
Engineering the Future
Engineering the Future

   2021    Technology
Leaving Neverland
Leaving Neverland

   2019    Culture
The Great Acceleration
The Great Acceleration

   2020    Technology
P.U.L.S.E
P.U.L.S.E

   2006    Art
Wings
Wings

      Nature
Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey
Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey

   2014    Science