Exchanging access for objectivity has long permeated sports documentaries, as filmmakers let central figures dictate the terms of their work in exchange for the privilege of interview time. There is also a desire among many directors with a sporting background to make perfect heroes of deeply flawed people.
Look no further than "The Last Dance," an ESPN series that gave Michael Jordan infinite exaggeration while limiting criticism to its negative qualities, to understand how the genre is likely to favor pedestals over harsh truths.
Marina Zenovovich, director of ESPN's two-part documentary "LANCE,quot; on the career of former rider Lance Armstrong, is a staunch critic of deifying issues. He hopes "LANCE,quot; will practice as close to objective truth as possible, a difficult task considering Armstrong's lifelong penchant for lying.
"You never want to glorify someone. You try to explore the complexities of people," Zenovovich told Sporting News. "You must be objective. You must make everything come to light and have no preconceptions."
"LANCE,quot; premieres Sunday night on ESPN. Armstrong is put on the record through eight interviews conducted by Zenovovich, where he faces direct questions about his cheating scandal, the treatment of others, and the dramatic fall. It also puts those around Armstrong during his ups and downs in front of the camera.
Here are details on the documentary's release and Armstrong's backstory:
Lance Armstrong & # 39; 30 by 30 & # 39; documentary broadcast dates
- Part 1: Sunday, May 24, 9 p.m. ET
- Part 2: Sunday, May 31, 9 p.m. ET
"LANCE,quot; will be divided into two parts, the first of which will air on Sunday, May 24 at 9 p.m. ET. The documentary opens a week after the end of ESPN's popular 10-part series about Michael Jordan.
ESPN's '30 by 30 'schedule
- June 7th: "Be water,quot;
- June 14th: "Long last summer,quot;
ESPN will continue its documentary series in early June with a couple of screenings.
"Be Water,quot; comes out on June 7 and chronicles the life of Bruce Lee. "Long Gone Summer,quot; comes out June 14, taking fans through the 1998 MLB season and the epic homer chase between Sammy Sosa and Mark McGwire.
What does the documentary cover?
"LANCE,quot; is a definitive look at the complex life of Lance Armstrong, who won the Tour de France seven times in a row before being caught doping and then trying to torpedo the careers of those who were once in his inner circle.
For Zenovovich, one of the main challenges was something investigative journalists often face: making people desperate to be viewed positively to provide insightful context and commentary.
"You are just doing things intuitively and instinctively and hoping to get something," Zenovovich told Sporting News about cutting false narratives by conducting interviews. "If, at the moment, you are thinking that someone is trying to represent themselves in a certain way, hopefully you invoke it. But you try not to make much judgment. It is empathy and compassion and open up to listen to what I have to say."
Below is the trailer for the movie.
Lance Armstrong doping scandal
Armstrong used performance-enhancing drugs to aid his resistance to cycling from 1996 onward, according to the US Anti-Doping Agency. USA (USED). He was subsequently banned from the sport for life, a decision he did not contest, and stripped of his titles. Armstrong has since admitted to using PED.
After years of speculation about his possible doping, the turning point in the case came when former teammate Floyd Landis discovered him as a leader in a US doping plan. USA Landis was also caught using PED.
What is the drug EPO?
Erythropoietin (EPO) is the main performance-enhancing drug that Lance Armstrong took during his cycling career. It is different from many of the medications used to stimulate athletes in other sports and is considered blood doping because it raises the red blood cell count. The advantage obtained is of resistance; With more red blood cells, a competitor takes longer to reach exhaustion. That's a big problem in a sport like cycling, which requires great endurance.
Armstrong took EPO during his career of unprecedented success, a transgression that led to his titles being erased from the record.
What type of cancer did Lance Armstrong have?
Armstrong was diagnosed with stage 3 testicular cancer in 1996 when he was 25 years old. It was life-threatening advanced cancer that spread to his brain and led to the surgical removal of one of his testicles.
After being banned from cycling for two years due to illness, Armstrong returned to the sport in 1998 and found success almost immediately.
Her return served as an inspiring force for cancer patients, and the Livestrong Foundation she started raised hundreds of millions of dollars for cancer research and support for survivors. Livestrong's yellow bracelets were ubiquitous in the mid-2000s and served as one of the most successful promotional campaigns of all time. Armstrong was removed from the organization's leadership once his doping history came to light.
Lance Armstrong's Tour de France wins
Armstrong won seven consecutive Tour de France titles between 1999 and 2005. His main rival during that period was German rider Jan Ullrich, who finished second in the Tour de France three times.
Lance Armstrong's net worth
Armstrong lost most of his career earnings due to lawsuits stemming from his doping scandal, but he's likely recovered a good chunk of that money from a $ 100,000 investment in Uber in 2009.
At the height of his success, Armstrong was worth $ 125 million. His winnings come from tournament winnings, as well as lucrative endorsements with big name brands like Nike and Budweiser. Today, it is worth approximately $ 50 million.