The Best Biographical Documentaries Ever Made — IndieWire Critics Survey

Every week, IndieWire asks a select handful of film critics two questions and publishes the results on Monday..

This past weekend saw the release of “Ryuichi Sakamoto: Coda,” the latest in a recent string of impressively strong and commercially successful biographical documentaries (other recent standouts include “Rbg” and “Won’t You Be my Neighbor?”).

This week’s question: What is the best biographical documentary ever made?

Siddhant Adlakha (@SidizenKane), Freelance for The Village Voice, /Film



The best and arguably most important documentaries ever made are complimentary pieces by Joshua Oppenheimer, “The Act of Killing” (2013) and “The Look of Silence (2015). They’re set against the backdrop of Indonesia’s 1965-66 genocide, believed to be sponsored by the C.I.A., but they’re each rooted in the lives of singular subjects and their diametrically opposed journeys.

The cleansing, of an estimated three million ethnic Chinese, changed the face of the nation in terrifying ways,
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