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The Inventor: Out For Blood In Silicon Valley

  • Documentary

Summary

Documentary investigating the rise and fall of Theranos, the one-time multibillion-dollar healthcare company founded by Elizabeth Holmes. With extraordinary access to never-seen-before footage and testimony from key insiders, the film explores the psychology of deception, and tells a Silicon Valley tale that was too good to be true.

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Review

Alex Gibney has carved a niche as a film-maker of cautionary tales for our times (Enron: the Smartest Guys in the Room; The Armstrong Lie). His latest is a warning about the gung-ho attitude prevalent among Silicon Valley tech entrepreneurs. Elizabeth Holmes was 19 years old when she set up a company Theranos, which promised to revolutionise phlebotomy and medical diagnosis through nanotechnology and a small, portable blood test machine — offering the possibility of cheap, early diagnoses direct to patients.

She was able to raise millions in capital and attracted luminaries such as Henry Kissinger to the board. Many admirers here compare her to Steve Jobs, Edison and Archimedes. She is a fascinating character, whose wide-eyed, unblinking stare point to a certain blinkered zealotry, and Gibney carefully, painstakingly exposes the fatal flaw in her idealistic hubris that ultimately led to the collapse of Theranos.

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DirectorAlex Gibney

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