Features | The Armstrong Lie | Review

by Euan Simpson

Lance Armstrong is perhaps one of the most famous sports people of all time with his inspiring tale of becoming a champion after struggling with testicular cancer his story was truly awe inspiring. However, in 2012 when he was banned from all further competitions and his yellow shirts stripped from him due to him doping throughout his career. The Armstrong Lie is an interesting film, originally meant to follow his comeback in 2009 it was revisited to look at the web of lies Armstrong created within the cycling community.

The film is made up between a mixture of old news footage, a 2009 in-depth interview about his comeback that director Alex Gibney filmed for his original film and a 2013 post-Oprah interview about the lies. It also contains interviews from former teammates, journalists and other people involved with that level of cycling. These interviews are quite revealing about both Armstrong himself but also the culture within the cycling community at the time. It is strange to see athletes of that level to freely admit that they were doping and, mostly, feel no remorse for it due to the fact that everyone was doing it.

The documentary manages to give a fair-sided portrayal of events and it never feels like it is a witch-hunt nor a fluff piece trying to justify his actions. It does however give both sides of the event. Answering why he did it, why he lied and what he did to cover the lies. After walking away my opinion of Armstrong did not change and I feel like it will not change most people. I still feel like he is a great athlete who’s major flaw was his willingness to do whatever possible to win.

One drawback of the film was perhaps its length. At 2 hrs it is not the longest movie in the world but it still could be cut by 15 or so minutes. I felt like some parts went on too much and it seemed that it repeated itself at points. Similarly, perhaps it is because I didn’t know too much about cycling I might have become bored a little quicker. However, even as a non-cycling fan I felt like I wasn’t out of my depth at any point in the film.

This is a great documentary that gives a detailed look at both the event but also Armstrong’s thoughts after the event had died down. If you are interested in both cycling or the Armstrong doping saga this would be a great film to watch. If you have no interest this isn’t the film for you.

Watch this movie and many more at the macrobert where student tickets are only £4.50.

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