'The Crime of the Century': Release date, plot, cast and all you need to know about HBO's documentary on the opioid epidemic

'The Crime of the Century' will explore the origins and fallout of one of the most devastating public health tragedies of this generation


                            'The Crime of the Century': Release date, plot, cast and all you need to know about HBO's documentary on the opioid epidemic
Documentary 'The Crime of the Century' focuses on the opioid epidemic (HBO)

HBO is reuniting with Academy Award-winning filmmaker Alex Gibney for the two-part documentary ‘The Crime of the Century’ and will debut on the network this May. It will also be available for streaming on HBO Max. The series revolves around the reckless distribution and abuse of synthetic opiates by Big Pharma.

It will also shed a light on government regulations that allowed the company to do that. The documentary feature will explore the origins and fallout of the opioid epidemic which resulted in more than half a million deaths from overdoses in this century alone. According to whistleblowers and many experts, the drug companies are responsible for “manufacturing the crisis” and earn billions of dollars in return.

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A recent report suggested that Opioid-involved overdose deaths rose from 21,088 in 2010 to 47,600 in 2017 and remained steady in 2018 with 46,802 deaths.

Release date

The documentary will be premiering exclusively on HBO in May. It will also be available for streaming on HBO Max.

Activists and family members of loved ones who died in the opioid/heroin epidemic take part in a "Fed Up!" rally at Capitol Hill on September 18, 2016, in Washington, DC (Getty Images)

Plot

The documentary will explore the origins and fallout of one of the most devastating public health tragedies of this generation.

The official synopsis reads: “With the help of whistleblowers, insiders, newly-leaked documents, exclusive interviews and access to behind-the-scenes investigations, and featuring expert input from medical professionals, journalists, former and current government agents, attorneys and pharmaceutical sales representatives, as well as sobering testimony from victims of opioid addiction, Gibney’s exposé posits that drug companies are in fact largely responsible for manufacturing the very crisis they profit from, to the tune of billions of dollars and thousands of lives.”

Cast

The two-part documentary will see contributions from a lot of whistleblowers, authors, journalists, and health experts. Here are some of the notable personalities featuring on the documentary.

Patrick Radden Keefe

Author Patrick Radden Keefe speaks onstage at "The New Yorker Festival 2015 - Andrew Jarecki Talks with Patrick Radden Keefe" at SVA Theater on October 2, 2015, in New York City (Getty Images)

The Massachusetts-based writer and investigative journalist is famous for writing a book named ‘Empire of Pain: The Secret History of the Sackler Dynasty’ which discussed how The Sackler Family was responsible for making and marketing OxyContin, a blockbuster painkiller that was a catalyst for the opioid crisis.

Apart from being an author, he has written extensively for many publications including The New Yorker, Slate, and The New York Times Magazine.  He also won the 2019 National Book Critics Circle Award (nonfiction) for writing ‘Say Nothing’.

Sari Horwitz

Sari Horwitz from The Washington Post (Wikipedia)

A native of Tuscon, Arizona, Horwitz is a three-time Pulitzer Prize-winning member of The Washington Post’s investigation unit. The senior journalist has been covering the US Department of Justice for The Washington Post since 2012.

According to the official website of Pulitzer, she has received two dozen local awards, including the Washington-Baltimore Newspaper Guild grand prize for writing three times and the Morton Mintz investigative writing award.

Scott Higham

Award-winning journalist and a member of The Washington Post Scott Higham (Twitter)

An investigative reporter from The Washington Post, Scott Higham has been associated with the publication since 2000. He has also worked for the Baltimore Sun, the Miami Herald, and the Allentown Morning Call in his illustrious career. He has won the prestigious Pulitzer Prize on two occasions and has more than 12 awards to his name.

Creators

Created by Alex Gibney, the series will explore the origins and fallout of one of the most devastating public health tragedies of this generation. Gibney has worked on various projects, including the Oscar-winning project ‘Taxi to the Dark Side’ and Emmy-winning venture ‘Going Clear: Scientology & the Prison of Belief’.

Director Alex Gibney speaks during the Filmmakers Afternoon Tea at the 63rd BFI London Film Festival at The May Fair Hotel on October 04, 2019, in London, England (Getty Images)

The documentary will be produced by Alex Gibney, Sarah Dowland and Svetlana Zill while Stacey Offman, Richard Perello, Todd Hoffman and Aaron Fishman will act as executive producers. Tina Nguyen Nancy Abraham and Lisa Heller will produce for HBO.

Trailer

A trailer for the documentary feature has not been released yet. We will update the story when the trailer arrives.

Where to Watch

‘The Crime of the Century’ will premiere exclusively on HBO in May. It will also be available for streaming on HBO Max.

If you like this, you will love these: 

‘What the Health’

‘The Game Changers’

‘The End Game’

‘Take your Pills’

‘Icarus’

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