The new Netflix documentary series ‘Dirty Money’ examines six stories of corporate greed and misconduct. Each hour-long entry is directed by a different filmmaker. Producer and prolific documentarian Alex Gibney did the first episode on the Volkswagen emissions scandal, and it was personal.
Gibney was outraged to learn in 2015 that his beloved “clean diesel” car had in fact been spewing harmful pollutants into the air. Gibney’s car was one of at least 11 million that Volkswagen had fitted with devices designed to hide dirty exhaust when the vehicles went through emissions tests.
In his film, Gibney discovers that many top executives at Volkswagen knew about the massive fraud despite their claims of ignorance. He also found evidence that Volkswagen had tested the effects of diesel exhaust fumes on monkeys.
Gibney has made a career of investigating secretive organizations, including the Catholic Church, Scientology and Wikileaks. His 2005 Oscar-nominated doc “Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room” examined the collapse of the corrupt energy company.
When Gibney joined us from New York to talk about ‘Dirty Money,’ he said the moment felt right for another look at corporate corruption.
He also tells us about the transition from working on docs to a scripted project, the upcoming Hulu series, ‘The Looming Tower.’