Directed by Gibney won three Emmys in 2015 for his thorough Scientology doc Going Clear and an Oscar for his 2008 look at the US interrogation techniques in Afghanistan, Taxi To The Dark Side.
The Crime Of The Century is a new two-part documentary that examines how Big Pharma, political operatives, and government regulations led to the opioid crisis claiming half a million lives in this century.
The film is rooted partly in a confidential Justice Department memo issued in 2006 that laid out a criminal case against Purdue Pharma, claiming the company knew how addictive OxyContin was but was misleading the public and Congress about its dangers.
A case was never brought against Purdue, and the opioid epidemic only grew in the ensuing years as pharmaceutical companies raked in billions.
Here’s the trailer –
Here is the synopsis for The Crime of the Century –
“The Crime Of The Century, from Emmy and Academy Award winner Alex Gibney, is a searing indictment of Big Pharma and their responsibility for manufacturing the very crisis they profit from.”
Produced in association with The Washington Post, The Crime of the Century features interviews with medical professionals, insiders, and victims of opioid addiction.
One of the first patients who was prescribed OxyContin, Gary Blinn describes how a Purdue Pharma representative told him to take as much OxyContin as he needed –
“It would take me 15 minutes just to eat ‘em all.”
“Twenty-five, twice a day — it was like sitting down to a bowl of Cheerios.”
The Crime of the Century debuts on HBO on May 10th.