A fresh cinematic look at the life of late Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, directed by Oscar-winning documentarian Alex Gibney, has been met with scorn from Apple employees following its debut at the annual South by Southwest film festival.
"Very disappointed in SJ:Man in the Machine," Apple software and services chief Eddy Cue wrote on Twitter. "An inaccurate and mean-spirited view of my friend. It's not a reflection of the Steve I knew."
Other Apple employees who saw the film during its screening in Texas reportedly walked out early, according to the Hollywood Reporter.
According to its playbill, the documentary is a "provocative and sometimes startling re-evaluation of the legacy of an icon." Some who have seen the film have said that Jobs is portrayed in an extremely unflattering light, with several well-worn tales used to highlight his temper and sometimes socially uncouth manners.
Gibney is a well-regarded documentarian, having collected numerous accolades for his work. His Taxi to the Dark Side, an examination of U.S. government policy toward torture, won the 2007 Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature, while he garnered an additional Oscar nomination for Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room and took home three Emmy Awards and a Peabody for Mea Maxima Culpa: Silence in the House of God.
Gibney is only the latest to draw contempt in the process of profiling Jobs. The tome generated by Jobs's hand-picked biographer, Walter Isaacson, is similarly reviled, with Apple design czar Jony Ive saying recently that his "regard [for Isaacson's book] couldn't be any lower."
That streak looks set to end with the release of a new Jobs biography, penned by Brent Schlender and Rick Tetzeli. That book — Â Becoming Steve Jobs: The Evolution of a Reckless Upstart into a Visionary Leader — Â has been widely praised, with Cue calling it "well done and first to get it right."
Schlender and Tetzeli's take is available for pre-order now, with its release set for March 24.