Steve Jobs Life In The Movie The Man In The Machine

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The passing of Steve Jobs is possibly one of the saddest and memorable historic events of our generation. Even if you don’t remember exactly where you were or what you were doing when he passed away, you likely felt something when you heard the news. Thousands of people left flowers and handwritten letters outside of Apple stores around the world to mourn his passing. Even more people took to social media to share their thoughts and condolences to the Apple co-founder. Apple products have been a part of people’s lives to the point now where most people would even consider them essential. This is why I found the passing of Steve Jobs so sad because without ever knowing me — his influence on my life was deeply personal.

The Man In the Machine is a documentary by Oscar-winning director Alex Gibney about the life and legacy of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs. Right from the get go I got the feeling that this documentary is a takedown of Steve Jobs. Jobs was undoubtedly an iconic and complex man but also flawed just like anyone else. Over the course of his career, Jobs could be considered be both inventor and thief, monk and businessman, brat and sage, tyrant and beloved leader. Despite these conflicting traits, jobs managed to create the most valuable and influential company on the planet as well as changing the world in the process. Instead, The Man In the Machine is primarily focused on the idea that Jobs was always a bad person, ignoring all of the positive aspects and using this to overshadow his achievements by hanging his personal flaws over his world-changing talent. Gibney made The Man In the Machine without the help or cooperation of Jobs’ family or Apple which is what potentially lead to his harsh assessment of Steve Jobs’ character.

Alex Gibney is known for his documentaries which are often negative towards the subject and this one is no different. Although I agree that Jobs was no saint, nor should he be treated like one, Gibney built a compelling case about Jobs and Apple villainy over the years mentioning the alleged tax-dodging allegations as well as the stock tampering. Although this may have come as a shock to some people this was not news to the people who follow Apple as these allegations have been around for years. My main issue with The Man In the Machine is that it is very damaging to the Steve Jobs legacy because of how it focuses so much on allegations and the pettiness of Jobs himself rather than the innovative genius he was. Alex Gibney also brought up the controversial idea of Apple being a cult. Gibney suggests that Apple users blindly follow Jobs like a cult of idiots, which to an extent I understand. Apple release days are a perfect example of this, people will line up for hours to be the first to spend thousands of pounds on the new Apple technology and this happens every year. They generate excitement not by pushing exclusivity, but inclusiveness. On the other hand, I also feel like this is just part of the hate bandwagon towards apple and calling it a cult is simply reaching. 

For me The Man In the Machine was definitely an interesting watch, the film addresses our complicated relationship with this stranger who became the face of the very technology we use on a daily basis and now thinks of an extension to ourselves. Although it didn’t really clear up the rumors that have grown around Steve Jobs it gave an interesting insight from Gibney’s perspective. The Steve Jobs legacy will live on despite people opinions of his personal character, Jobs was a genius who changed the world as we know it which will always be remembered.


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