Alex Gibney on His Own Films
Gibney's films have focused on some of our most divisive public figures. Here, he tells us what he really thinks of them.
'The Trials of Henry Kissinger' (2002)
"He's apparently very charming. But I find him to be despicable because I think he's a war criminal. As Seymour Hersh said in the film, the dark side of Henry Kissinger is very, very dark."
'Gonzo: The Life and Work of Dr. Hunter S. Thompson' (2008)
"To me, Hunter represented the best and worst of America – the hope and idealism, but also the dark side. As he got older, he became a parody of the image that he invented for himself."
'Casino Jack and the United States of Money' (2010)
"Since everybody thinks he's despicable, I'll tell you that I found Jack Abramoff kind of charming. There's a glint in his eye and a roguish appeal, and he's a movie buff. He suffers from extreme self-deception, but that's what happens with ideologues. He's a true believer."
'Client 9: The Rise and Fall of Eliot Spitzer' (2010)
"When I heard about his scandal, I shared the shock that he'd allow himself to be taken out that way and surprised about his hypocrisy. But I began to think about it differently. Is it better to be consistently repugnant or inconsistently virtuous? Me, I'd prefer the latter. Which was the greater crime, destroying the world economy or sleeping with escorts?"
'We Steal Secrets: The Story of WikiLeaks' (2013)
"I liked the young Assange, the one I never met, more than the self-important bloviator he'd become. I had an agonizing six-hour sit-down with him and he spent most of that time eviscerating his critics. I admire his guts, and his idealism, but man, he's so narcissistic. Twice he stood up in our meeting and said, 'I am WikiLeaks.'"