Variety’s Justin Chang reviewed Jigsaw Productions’ latest film, “The Armstrong Lie,” focusing on the layered nature of the film. Director Alex Gibney started by following Lance Armstrong’s return to the Tour de France in 2009 but changed course as allegations of Armstrong’s doping made headlines again. Chang writes, “What might have once been a largely admiring, celebratory documentary was derailed by the re-emergence of doping allegations that had persistently plagued the fabled athlete; investigations by federal prosecutors and the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency led to his eventual public confession and downfall. The result is a much more critical, sobering and, naturally, fascinating film about a figure who had seemingly overcome the worst kind of adversity and achieved miraculous success on the basis of talent and commitment alone.” The film screens at the Venice Film Festival tonight, and it will have its North American premiere at the Toronto Film Festival on September 8.
Alex Gibney’s newest film, “The Armstrong Lie,” will premiere at the Venice Film Festival this fall, and will have its North American premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival. The film features a multi-year account of Armstrong’s life in cycling.
Jigsaw and HBO’s 2012 film “Mea Maxima Culpa: Silence in the House of God” won an early Emmy for Exceptional Merit in Documentary Filmmaking! The award was a juried winner — meaning judges voted unanimously — and it was the only documentary to receive an early Emmy. The film has also been nominated for 5 other Emmys, including Outstanding Directing, Writing, and Cinematography for Nonfiction Programming. Check back on September 15 to find out if “Mea Maxima Culpa: Silence in the House of God” won.
In the wake of Bradley Manning’s court martial verdict on July 30, many took to Twitter to express their thoughts on the matter. Manning was acquitted of aiding the enemy, but found guilty of violating the Espionage Act, stealing government property, among other charges. The trial centered around Manning’s role in leaking military records and secrets — a story recounted in Jigsaw’s 2013 film, “We Steal Secrets: The Story of WikiLeaks.” Director Alex Gibney expressed his reaction on Twitter: Re: Bradley Manning- In military courts, a judge has tremendous discretion in sentencing. Now would be a good time for voices to be raised. — Alex Gibney (@BaLueBolivar) July 30, 2013 Julian Assange released a statement later in the day to denounce the verdict as “dangerous.” This is the first ever espionage conviction against a whistleblower. It is a dangerous precedent and an example of national security extremism. It is a short sighted judgment that can not be tolerated and must be reversed. It can never be that conveying true information to the public is ’espionage’. WikiLeaks, Julian Assange, and Jen Robinson suggested the legal precedent is bad for whistleblowers: Bradley Manning’s convictions today include 5 courts of espionage. A very serious new precedent for supplying information the press. — WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) July 30, 2013 Verdict in #Manning proceedings means that whistleblowing = espionage. First ever successful espionage conviction against a whistleblower. — Jen Robinson (@suigenerisjen) July 30, 2013 Statement by Julian Assange on Verdict in Bradley Manning Court-Martial http://t.co/0vby8C92sd — WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) July 30, 2013 Morris Davis, a prosecutor in the Guantanamo Bay commissions: Judge Lind halfway to validating mil justice w/not guilty to aiding the enemy charge. Now she needs to give #Manning a reasonable sentence. — Col. Morris Davis (@ColMorrisDavis) July 30, 2013 James Ball, a journalist who worked…
Jigsaw’s new film, following both Lance Armstrong’s return to the Tour de France in 2009 and his 2013 admission to doping, will be released by Sony Pictures Classics. “The Armstrong Lie” was directed and produced by Alex Gibney, and features a multi-year account of Armstrong’s life in cycling. Read more here.
A day after being named a finalist for the Humanitas Prize, “Mea Maxima Culpa: Silence in the House of God,” received 5 Emmy nominations. Another 2013 Jigsaw film, the two-part music documentary “History of the Eagles,” received 2 nominations. Mea Maxima Culpa: Silence in the House of God Outstanding Writing for Nonfiction Programming Outstanding Directing for Nonfiction Programming Outstanding Cinematography for Nonfiction Programming Outstanding Picture Editing for Nonfiction Programming Outstanding Music Composition for a Miniseries, Movie, or a Special (Original Dramatic Score) History of the Eagles: Parts I & II Outstanding Sound Editing for Nonfiction Programming (Single or Multi-Camera) Outstanding Sound Mixing for Nonfiction Programming Read the Emmy press release here.
Jigsaw’s 2012 film “Mea Maxima Culpa: Silence in the House of God” was named a finalist for the Humanitas Prize! Winners will be announced in September. The film documents the first known public protest against clerical sex abuse in the U.S. These four deaf young men set out to expose the priest who had abused them and so many others. Their investigation helped to uncover documents from the secret Vatican Archives that shows the Pope – who must operate within the mysterious rules of the roman Curia – as both responsible and helpless in the face of evil. For a full list of finalists, see Deadline.
The Los Angeles Times interviewed director Alex Gibney in 2010 when “Client 9: The Rise and Fall of Eliot Spitzer” first came out. Reporter Steven Zeitchik asked Gibney if he thought Spitzer would get back into politics, and which office he would run for. “Yes. Comptroller,” Gibney answered without hesitation. “It’s a position where he can have a lot of influence, but it’s not so prominent that he’d face the kind of scrutiny that he would if he were to try to run for governor or national office,” Gibney said. I may be consulting Gibney the next time I head to Vegas. The director turned out to be prescient when, a few days ago, Spitzer did just that, tossing his hat in the ring for the job of comptroller of the city of New York. Read the whole blog post here.
An article by Laurie Goldstein, New York Times reporter, showed that Cardinal Timothy F. Dolan sought to protect church assets from victims of sex abuse by moving $57 million into a cemetery trust fund. Cardinal Dolan has previously expressed outrage against the abuse of children. The revelation came as the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Milwaukee released a number of documents detailing the sex abuse cases. The release of more than 6,000 pages of documents on Monday was hailed by victims and their advocates as a vindication and a historic step toward transparency and accountability. They were well aware that the archives would bring unusually intense scrutiny to the country’s most high-profile prelate, Cardinal Dolan, who as president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and the archbishop of New York has sought to help the church turn the corner on the era of scandal. Cardinal Dolan has been regarded by many Catholics as part of the solution. In public appearances, he has expressed personal outrage at the harm done to children, apologized profusely and pledged to help the church and the victims heal. In Mea Maxima Culpa: Silence in the House of God, Alex Gibney’s in-depth portrait of sex abuse within the Catholic church, Goldstein provided key details in the case of Father Murphy’s sex abuse allegations in Wisconsin.
Alex Gibney stopped by The Huffington Post Live last week to talk about leaks, whistleblowers, and their role in light of Edward Snowden’s release of NSA secrets. Joined by Jeremy Scahill (Dirty Wars writer/producer) and Jeff Jarvis, CUNY journalism professor. In light of Snowden’s request to seek asylum from Ecuador, the story of WikiLeaks and Assange’s role in heling whistleblowers has become a mainstream conversation again. See the full HuffPost Live 23-minute conversation here.