Oscar-winning documentarian Alex Gibney (We Steal Secrets: The Story of WikiLeaks) was hired in 2009 to make a film tracking cyclist Lance Armstrong's comeback. But when the renowned Tour de France champion confessed to doping allegations, the doco was shelved. Gibney later picked the project back up, with a new goal: get an insider’s perspective on what provoked Armstrong to maintain such a massive lie.
"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...
"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... 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." (Toronto International Film Festival)